Manaḥ Śikṣā Bhāṣā

śrī-śrī-guru-caraṇebhyo namaḥ
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-candrāya namaḥ
śrī-raghunātha-dāsa-gosvāmī-caraṇebhyo namaḥ


Introduction

vraja-dhāma nitya dhana, rādhā-kṛṣṇa dui-jana
lilāveśe akatanu haiyā
dhāma saha gauḍa-deśe, prakaṭa haila ese
nija nitya pāriṣada laiyā

The eternal wealth of Vraja-dhāma, the divine couple, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, have combined for the sake of ecstatic pastimes. That dhāma has manifest in Gauḍa-deśa along with Their intimate eternal associates.

(mana tumi satya bali jāna)
navadvīpa-gaurahari, nāma saṅkīrtana kari
premāmṛta gauḍe kaila dāna
sannyāsera cala kari, nīlācala sei hari
śrī kṛṣṇa caitanya yatiśvara

(O Mind, you know this to be true!) In Navadvīpa, through nāma-saṅkīrtana, Śrī Gaurahari inundated the land of Gauḍa with ambrosial prema. Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, the Lord of sannyāsīs, travelled with renunciants and resided in Nīlācala.

dāmodara rāmānanda, laye kari parānanda
guḍa-tattva jānāya kācche
raghunātha sei tattva, śikhāiyā paramārtha
pāṭhāilā śrī rūpera kācche

Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Rāya Rāmānanda resided with Him and felt great bliss. They both understood confidential truths and Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa learned these topics which lead to the highest goal. Then he was sent to be near to Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī.

śrī dāsa gosvāmī vraje, rūpa saha kṛṣṇa bhaje
manaḥ śikṣā śloka likhiyāche
tā’hāra dāsera dāsa, haite yā’ra baḍa āsa
e bhaktivinoda akiñcana
manaḥ-śikṣā bhāṣā gāya, yathā śuddha-bhakti pāya
dayā kari karena śravaṇa

In Vraja, Śrīla Dāsa Gosvami worshipped Kṛṣṇa in the association of Śrī Rūpa, and there he wrote the verses of Manaḥ Śikṣā. This lowly Bhaktivinoda, who has great hope in his heart, is the servant of his servant. Sing this commentary on Manaḥ Śikṣa and kindly hear it, for it gives pure bhakti.


VERSE 1

gurudeve vraja-vane, vraja-bhūmi-vāsī jane,
śuddha-bhakte, āra vipra-gaṇe
iṣṭa-mantre hari-nāme, yugala bhajana kāme,
kara rati apūrva yatane

The spiritual master, the forest of Vraja, the residents of Vraja-bhūmi, the pure devotees, the brāhmaṇas, the worshipful mantra, the Holy Name of Hari, a desire to worship the Divine Couple – one should try to gain extreme attachment for these.

(dhari mana caraṇe tomāra)
jāniyāchi ebe sāra, kṛṣṇa-bhakti vinā āra,
nāhi ghuce jīvera saṁsāra

O mind, I grasp your feet! Now I understand that essentially, without kṛṣṇa-bhakti, nothing will destroy the jīva’s cycle of repeated birth and death (saṁsāra).

karma, jñāna, tapaḥ, yoga, sakalai ta’ karma-bhoga
karma chāḍaite keha nāre
sakala chāḍiyā bhāi, śraddhā-devīra guṇa gāi,
yā’ra kṛpā bhakti dite pāre

Fruitive activities, knowledge, austerities, and yoga are all activities of material enjoyment. There is nobody that can free us from karma. O brother, cast aside all these things and sing the glories of Śraddhā Devī, whose mercy alone bestows bhakti.

chāḍi’ dambha anukṣaṇa, smara aṣṭa-tattva mana,
kara tāhe niṣkapaṭa rati
sei rati prārthanāya, śrī dāsa-gosvāmī pāya,
e bhakativinoda kare nati

O mind, drive away pride forever, remember these eight principles and sincerely cultivate attachment for them. Praying for such attachment, Bhaktivinoda offers this prayer at the feet of Śrīla Dāsa Gosvāmī.


VERSE 2

dharma bali vede yā’re, eteka prāśaṁsā kare
adharma baliyā ninde yā’re
tāhā kicchu nāhi kara, dharmādharma parihara
hao rata nigūḍha vyāpāre

The Vedas speak of dharma, and they are praised highly for that and adharma is considered to be blasphemy. But one should perform neither – avoid both dharma and adharma. One’s true engagement should be in that which is most confidential.

(yācchi mana dhari tava pāya)
sei sakala parihari, vraja-bhūme vāsa kari
rata hao yugala-sevāya

(O mind, I have come and grasped your feet!) Leave everything and reside in Vraja-bhūmi, and with attachment engage in service to the Divine Couple.

śrī śacīnandana dhane, śrī nandanandana sane
eka kari karaha bhajana
śrī mukunda priya jana, gurudeve jāna mana
tomā lāgi patita-pāvana

jagate prakaṭa bhāi, tā’hā vinā gati nāi
yadi cāo āpana kuśala
tā’hāte caraṇa dhari, tadādeśa sadā smari
e bhaktivinoda deha bala

Worship the supreme treasure, the Son of Śacī and the Son of Nanda as one and the same. O mind, you should know that Śrī Gurudeva is most dear to Lord Mukunda and that for you, he is the saviour of the fallen. O brother, in this material world, without him, nothing can be achieved. Go to him and attain true happiness. Hold onto his lotus feet and always remember his instructions. This is what Bhaktivinoda says.

VERSE 3

rāgāveśe vraja-dhāma, vāse yadi tīvra-kāma
thāke tava hṛdaya-bhitare
rādhā-kṛṣṇa-līlā-rasa, paricaryā sulālasa
hao yadi nitānta antare

If you have an intense desire for residence in Vraja-dhāma in order to become deeply absorbed in divine sentiments, keep that feeling within your heart. If that is felt deeply within, then eagerness will arise to serve Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Their līlā-rasa.

(bali tabe śuna mama mana!)
bhajana caturovara, śrī svarūpa dāmodara
prabhu sevā yā’hāra jīvana
sa gaṇa śrī rūpa jini, rāsa-tattva-jñāna-maṇi
līlā-tattva ye kaila prakāśa

(O my mind, listen to my words!) Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara was most expert in the art of bhajana, and service to the Lord was his very life. Along with his associate, Śrī Rūpa, he manifested the wealth of the knowledge of rasa-tattva and līlā-tattva.

tā’hāra agraja bhāi, yā’hāra samāna nāi
varṇila ye yugala-vilāsa
sei saba mahājane, spaṣṭa prema-vijñāpane
smara mana tumi nirantara
bhaktivinodera nati, mahājana-gaṇa prati
vijñāpita karaha satvara

Śrī Rūpa’s elder brother (Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī Prabhu), who was equal to none, described the pastimes of the Divine Couple. All of these great souls manifested and described love of Kṛṣṇa (prema). O mind, you should always remember this. It is Bhaktivinoda’s constant prayer to these great souls, “Please reveal this to me soon!”

VERSE 4

kṛṣṇa-vārtā vinā āna, āsad-vārtā bali jāna
sei veśyā ati-bhayaṅkarī
śrī kṛṣṇa viṣayā mati, jīvera durlabha ati
sei veśyā mati laya hari

One should know that those topics that have nothing to do with Kṛṣṇa are all useless subjects. One should be very afraid of such a ‘prostitute.’ Thoughts of the supreme subject-matter, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, are very rare for the jīva, and this prostitute will steal your mind.

(śuna mana, bali he tomāya!)
mukti nāme śārdūlinī, tā’ra kathā yadi śuni
sarvātmā-sampati gili-khāya
tad ubhaya tyāga kara, mukti-kathā parihara
lakṣmīpati-rati rākha dūre

(O mind, kindly listen to my words!) Liberation is known to be like a tigress, and if you listen to topics about this, your very being and assets will be devoured. Give up both of these (mundane talks and topics about liberation) and abandon all discussions about mukti. Even keep attraction to Lakṣmī-pati (Lord Nārāyaṇa) at bay!

se rati pravala ha’le, paravyome deya phele
nāhi deya vāsa vraja-pure
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇa rati, amūlya-dhanada ati
tāi tumi bhaja cira-dina
rūpa-raghunātha pāya, sei rati prārthanāya
e bhaktivinoda dīna-hīna

If such attraction appears, one will be thrown down into Vaikuṇṭha. This will never give you residence in Vrajapura. Attraction towards Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Vraja gives one inestimable wealth. You should worship Them for the rest of your days. This most fallen and wretched Bhaktivinoda prays at the feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha for such attraction.


VERSE 5

kāma krodha lobha moha, mada matsaratā saha
jīvera jīvana pathe basi
āsac-ceṣṭā rājju phāṅse, pathikera dharma nāśe
prāṇa la’ye kare kaṣākaśī

Lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride, and envy lie in wait on the road for each jīva. They bind them with the ropes of their wicked deeds and the virtue of such travellers is destroyed. They strangle them and take their life airs.

(mana, tumi dhara vākya mora)
ei saba bātapāḍa, atiśaya durnivāra
jakhana ghiriyā kare jora
āra kichu nā kariyā, vaiṣṇavera nāma laiyā
phukāriyā ḍāka uccharāya

(O mind, please heed my words!) All these rogues are extremely difficult to subdue when they join together and surround you. There is nothing else to do except to take the name of the Vaiṣṇavas and call out loudly to them.

baka-śatru senā-gaṇe, kṛpā kari nija-jane
yā’te kare uddhāra tomāya
bātapāḍa chāya jana, āsat-ceṣṭā rajju-gaṇa
diyā gale karila bandhana
prāṇa-vāyu gata prāya, rūpa raghunātḥa hāya
kara bhaktivinoda rakṣaṇa

“O soldiers of He who is the enemy of Bakāsura, be merciful unto me, who is your servant! I am yours, please lift me up! These six rogues along with their ropes of wicked deeds have bound me tightly around the neck. O Rūpa-Raghunātha, my life-airs are rapidly leaving my body – kindly protect Bhaktivinoda.”


VERSE 6

kāma krodha-ādi kari, bāhire se saba ari
ācche eka gūḍha-śatru tava
kapaṭatā nāma tā’ra, tā’re kuṭināṭi bhāra
khara-mūrti parama kaitava

Even if you keep all these enemies, beginning with lust, anger etc. outside, you still have one more hidden foe. His name is deceit and he is extremely unscrupulous. This supreme deceiver takes on the form of an ass.

(ore mana gūḍha kathā dhara)
sei khara-mūtre bhūle, snāna kari kūtūhale
pavitra baliyā mane kara|
vane vā gṛhe vā thāka, sei khare dūre rākha
yā’ra mūtre tumi āmi jvali

(O mind, please heed this confidential topic!) It is amazing that you bathe in deceit, forgetting that it is donkey urine, believing that it is actually purifying you. Whether you reside in the forest or the house, keep this ass far away, whose urine burns both you and me.

chāḍiyā kāpaṭya-vaśa, yugala-vilāsa-rasa
sāgare karaha snāna keli
rūpa-raghunātha pāya, e bhaktivinoda cāya
dekhite yugala rasa-sindhu
jīvana sārthaka kare, sarva-jīva citta hare
sei sāgarera eka bindu

You must give up your deceitful disguise, taste the pastimes of the Divine Couple and bathe in the ocean of their playful frolics. Seeing Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s ocean of rasa, Bhaktivinoda desires that which Rūpa and Raghunātha have attained. One’s life is truly fulfilled and the mind of every jīva is stolen simply by a drop from that ocean.

VERSE 7

kapaṭatā haile dūra, praveśe premera pūra
jīvera hṛdaya dhanya kare
ataeva bahu yatne, ānibāre prema-ratne
kāpaṭya rākhaha ati dūre

Keeping deceit far away, the land of love can enter and bless the jīva’s heart. Thus, with great attention, collecting the gems of prema, hypocrisy is kept far away.

(śuno mana nigūḍha vacana)
pratiṣṭhāśā-dhṛṣṭādhama, caṇḍālinī hṛde mama
yata kāla karibe nartana
kāpaṭya tadupapati, nā chāḍibe mama mati
śva-pacinī yāhe haya dūra

(Listen, O mind, to my grave words) The desire for prestige is obstinate and vile, and it resides in my heart like a low class dog-eating woman. For how long will she continue to dance there? I cannot cast aside this deceitful paramour, although this dog-eating witch should be kept far, far away.

tad-arthare yatana kari, prabhu-preṣṭha-pada dhari
sevā tumi karaha pracura
te’ha prabhu senāpati, vikrama kariyā ati
śva-pacinī saṅga chāḍāiyā
rādhā-kṛṣṇa prema-dhane, dibe kabe akiñcane
bale bhaktivinoda kāṅdiyā

The best way to achieve that is to hold onto the feet of one who is most dear to the Lord. You should constantly render service unto them. He who is the Lord’s general has great strength and he will drive away the association of that dog-eating woman. Crying, Bhaktivinoda says, “When will you give that love divine for Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa unto this insignificant soul?”


VERSE 8

vraja-bhūmi cintāmaṇi, cidānanda ratna-khaṇi
yathā nitya rasera vilāsa
jīve diba gūḍha dhana, cinti kṛṣṇa vṛndāvana
jaḍe āni karila prakāśa

Vraja-bhūmi is a land of transcendental touchstones, where the gems of divine bliss are mined, where eternal playful pastimes are enacted. In order to give the jīvas such confidential treasures and allow them to meditate upon Kṛṣṇa, that same Vṛndāvana manifested in this world.

(kṛṣṇa mora dayāra-sāgara)
tumi mana vraja-dhāma, bhrami bhrami abhirāma
ḍāka kṛṣṇa haiyā kātara
avidyā vilāsa-vaśe, chile tumi jaḍa-rase
duṣṭatā hṛdaye pāila sthāna

(My Kṛṣṇa is an ocean of mercy!) O mind, find pleasure in wandering all over Vraja-dhāma and call out to Kṛṣṇa with great feeling. Being controlled by the whims of ignorance you came and gave me a taste for mundanity and made my heart an abode of wickedness.

hai’le tumi śaṭha-rāja, bhulile āpana kāja
hṛdaye barile abhimāna
ebe upadeśa śuna, gāiyā yugala-guṇa
goṣṭhe goṣṭhe karaha rodana

You are the king of all cheats! You have made me forget my true occupation and filled my heart with egotism. Now hear this instruction – sing about the transcendental qualities of the Divine Couple and cry out for Their associates.

dayā kari giridhara, śuniyā kākuti-svara
tabe doṣa karibe śodhana
ujjvala-rasera prīti, śrī rādhā-bhajana-nīti
anāyāse divena āmāya
rūpa-raghunātha more, kṛpā kari ataḥpare
ei tattva gopane śikhāya

O Lifter of Govardhana Hill, be merciful to me and hear my humble words – please purify me of my faults. Love for divine amorous mellows (ujjvala-rasa) is the way of worshipping Śrī Rādhā, and You can bestow that upon me very easily. O my Rūpa and Raghunātha! Kindly give your mercy in this way and teach me this confidential truth.


VERSE 9

vraja-vana sudhākara, vraja-vanera iśvara
vrajeśvarī āmāra īśvarī
lalitā tā’hāra sakhī, tulya tā’ra nāhi likhi
viśākhā śikṣikā-pada dhari

Kṛṣṇa is the bright moon and Lord of the forest of Vraja, and Rādhā, the Goddess of Vraja is my Mistress. Her confidante is Lalitā and nobody can write that there are equal to her. Viśākha is the expert teacher and we take hold of her feet.

(e bhāve bhāva ore mana!)
rādhā-kuṇḍa sarovara, govardhana girīśvara
rati-prada tattva tadīkṣaṇa
vraje gopī-deha dhari, mañjarī āśraya kari
prāpta sevā kara sampādana

(O mind, try to understand my feelings!) The lake of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa, the best of Hills, Śrī Govardhana – even a glimpse of these essential things gives divine pleasure. Assuming the form of a vraja-gopī, take shelter of a mañjarī. Having attained divine service, serve them properly.

mañjarīra kṛpā ha’be, sakhīra caraṇa pā’be
sakhī dekhāibe nitya-dhana
prahare prahare āra, daṇḍe daṇḍe sevā-sāra
kariyā yugala-dhane ḍāka
sakala anārtha jā’be, cid-vilāsa-rāsa pā’be
bhaktivinodera kathā rākha

By attaining a mañjarī’s mercy, one will obtain the feet of a sakhī. Just be seeing that sakhī, you will achieve eternal wealth. Every three hours and every thirty minutes one will render the essence of all sevā. In this way, call out to the treasure of the Divine Couple. All of one’s anārthas will go and you will attain the mellows of the divine pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. (O mind), pay attention to these words of Bhaktivinoda.


VERSE 10

saundarya-kiraṇa-mālā, jine rati gaurī līlā
anāyāse svarūpa vaibhave
śacī lakṣmī satyabhāmā, yata bhāgyavatī rāmā
saubhāgya-balane parābhave

The splendorous rays of beauty emanating from Rādhā’s divine form easily defeats the Goddesses Rati, Gaurī and Līlā. Śacī, Lakṣmī, Satyabhāmā and so many most fortunate beautiful damsels are all defeated by the power of Her good fortune.

(bhaja mana caraṇa tā’hāra)
candrāvalī mukha yata, navinā nāgarī-śata
vaśīkāre kare tirāṣkāra
se je kṛṣṇa prāṇeśvarī, kṛṣṇa prāṇāhlādakarī
hlādinī svarūpa śakti satī

(O mind, please worship Her feet!) With Her ability to control Kṛṣṇa, She even eclipses the prominent Candrāvalī who is ever-youthful amongst hundreds of gopīs. Being the Lord’s personal potency of divine bliss, She controls the very life of Kṛṣṇa and brings bliss to His very being.

tā’hāra caraṇa tyaji, yadi kṛṣṇa-candra bhaji
koṭi-yuge kṛṣṇa gehe gati
sakhī-kṛpā bhelā dhari, prema-sindhu-mājhe carī
vṛṣabhānu-nandinī caraṇe
kabe vā paḍiyā ra’va, īśvarīra kṛpā pā’ra
gaṇita haiba nija-jane

If you worship Kṛṣṇa-candra, but abandon Her lotus feet, then Kṛṣṇa will leave your residence for millions of yugas. Hold tightly onto the boat of a sakhī’s mercy, playing in the midst of the ocean of love divine, take shelter of the feet of the Daughter of Mahārāja Vṛṣabhānu. When will I remain prostrate and attain the mercy of Iśvarī, becoming expert in sevā as one of Her dear ones?

VERSE 11

vrajera nikuñja-vane, rādhā-kṛṣṇa sakhī-sane
līlā-rase nitya thāke bhora
sei dainandina-līlā, bahu bhāgyera ye sevilā
tāhāra bhāgyera baḍa jora

In Vraja’s forest groves, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and the sakhīs eternally remain absorbed in pastimes of rasa. Those who are most blessed to serve in these continual pastimes, their fortune is beyond great.

(mana, yadi cāo sei dhana)
śrī rūpera saṅga la’ye, tāra anucarī ha’ye
kara tā’ra nirdiṣṭa bhajana
hṛdaye rāgera bhāve, kālocita sevā pā’re
sevā rāse rahibe majiyā

(O mind, if you wish to attain this treasure) In the association of Śrī Rūpa, remain as her maidservant and follow and follow her instructions on bhajana. With a heart filled with a mood of spontaneous love, perform your service at the proper time and remain absorbed in the mellows of divine sevā.

bāhire sādhana deha, karibe bhajana geha
niḥsaṅge vā sādhu-saṅga layā
yugala-pūjana-dhyāna, nati, śruti, saṅkīrtana
pañcāmṛte seva govardhane
rūpa-raghunātha pāya, bhaktivinoda cāya
dṛḍhamati e rūpa bhajane

In your external form as a practitioner (sādhana-deha), you engaged in bhajana at home, either alone or in the association of sādhus. You should offer pūjā to the Divine Couple, meditate upon Them, offer Them obeisance, hear about Them and chant Their glories. Along with these five types of nectar (pañcāmṛta), you should also worship Govardhana. Bhaktivinoda desires the lotus feet or Rūpa and Raghunātha and with firm resolve wishes to offer worship in that way.

Thus ends the Manaḥ Śikṣā Bhāṣā by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura