agnir mahi gaganam ambu marud diśaś ca
kālas tathātma-manasīti jagat-trayāṇi
yasmād bhavanti vibhavanti viśanti yaṁ ca
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Fire, earth, ether, water, air, the directions, time, the ātmā and the mind – the three worlds are created from these nine elements. I worship Govinda, the original Person, from whom they arise, in whom they reside and into whom they enter at the time of annihilation.
There is nothing in the three worlds apart from the five gross elements, the directions, time the jīvātmā, and the subtle body of the conditioned jīva which is comprised of the manasa-tattva of mind, intelligence and false ego. The karmīs offer oblations in the fire of yajña. The jīvas who are averse to the Lord know nothing beyond these nine perceivable tattvas in the world. The jīva is the same ātmā that the dry jñānīs search for in the stage of ātmarāma (self-satisfaction). What Sāṅkhya refers to as prakṛti and ātmā is also included here. In other words, all the different kinds of tattvas that are specified by philosophers of tattva are included within these nine elements. Śrī Govinda is the abode of the creation, maintenance and annihilation of all these tattvas.
yac-cakṣur eṣa savitā sakala-grahāṇāṁ
rājā samasta-sura-mūrtir aśeṣa-tejāḥ
yasyājñayā bhramati sambhṛta-kāla-cakro
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
With it’s infinite splendour, the sun is the king of all planets, the form of the Devas, and the personified eye of this world. I worship Govinda, the original Person, by whose command he travels, mounted on the wheel of time.
Many Vedic people worship the sun as Brahman. The sun is one Deva amongst the five Devatās. Furthermore, many declare that the sun is source of heat and as the only support of such great heat, the sun must be the cause of the universe. Whatever one says, the sun is the ruler of all mundane light for one area and therefore he is a governing Devatā. It is at the command of Govinda that the sun performs his service.
dharmo’tha pāpa-nicayaḥ śrutayas tapāṁsi
brahmādi-kīṭa-patagāvadhayaś ca jīvāḥ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
I worship Govinda, the original Person, by whose potency dharma, adharma (in other words, all kinds of pāpa), the śrutis, austerities and all jīvas from Brahmā down to the insects are awarded their manifested powers.
Dharma, in other words, that which is indicated by the Vedas, refers to varṇa–dharma and āśrama–dharma as revealed in the twenty dharma–śāstras. Amongst them are the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras – these four varṇas that manifest from one’s inherent nature are varṇa–dharma, and the brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsī – these four āśramas are referred to as āśrama–dharma. In these two kinds of dharma, the conduct of all types of life for mankind are described.
Pāpa-nicaya (all pāpa) means pāpa–mūla (the basis of pāpa), avidyā (ignorance) and pāpa–vāsanā (impressions from pāpa) and also mahā–pātaka (extreme pāpa), anu–pātaka (secondary pāpa), pātaka (pāpa) etc. In other words, all kinds of activities that are against the śāstra. The śrutis mean the Ṛk, Sāma, Yajur and Atharva Vedas, and their crowning decoration, the Upaniṣads. Tapa means the various kinds of regular practices that are taught for the attainment of dharma. In many places it refers to activities such as the pañca-tapa etc. which are extremely difficult (aṣṭāṅga-yoga and dedication to brahma-jñāna are also included). All these are specifically within the cycle of karma of the conditioned jīva. The bound jīva travels through eighty-four lakhs of species. There are different varieties such as Devas, Dānavas, Rākṣasas, humans, serpents, Kinnaras and Gandharvas. All these jīvas, from Brahmā down to the insects, are of unlimited types. They are all within the cycle of karma and from Brahmā down to the insects, they are all bound jīvas. Each of them possesses specific potencies and capacities for some activities. However, all these potencies are not self-evident. They can only manifest their powers in accordance with the abilities and potencies that have been given to them by Śrī Govinda.
yas tv indragopam athavendram aho sva-karma-
karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājāṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
I worship Govinda, the original Person who delivers results to those jīvas on the path of karma without partiality, be it the tiny insect called indragopa or the Indra of the Devatās, according to their own karmika bondage. But the surprising thing is that for the devotee, He burns all the karma to the root.
The Lord is without partiality when giving the jīvas the results of their karma and, according to their previous activities, He later gives them the inclination for a particular type of activity. However, showing special mercy to the devotees, He burns their karma in relation to dharma and adharma along with the karma-mūla (the root cause of karma), karma–vāsanā (the impressions made by karma) and avidyā (ignorance). Karma is without beginning, but it is perishable. For those who work with the hope of achieving the results of their activities, their karma is inexhaustible and never perishes. Sannyāsa–dharma is also a specific type of karma in connection with āśrama. Their hankering for a result from their activities in the form of the desire for liberation is not pleasing to Kṛṣṇa. They also attain results in accordance with their karma and even though they are completely niṣkāma (without material desires), they receive insignificant results in the form of becoming ātmarāma (satisfied in the ātmā). However, those who are pure devotees who are without any other desires, who abandon independent endeavours such as karma, jñāna etc., always cultivate devotion to Kṛṣṇa with a favourable mood. Kṛṣna completely destroys the karma, karma-vāsanā and avidyā of such persons. Although He is neutral, it is an astounding thing that Kṛṣṇa favours the devotees.
sañcintya tasya sadṛśīṁ tanum āpur ete
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Those who meditate upon Him by cultivating a mood of anger, lust, natural and affectionate friendship, fear, parental love, bewilderment, reverence, and servitorship obtain a similar form and qualities worthy of their meditation. I worship Govinda, the original Person.
Bhakti is of two types – vaidhi and rāgātmikā. That bhakti which is based upon śraddhā that only arises from the śāstra and following the instructions of the guru, if it is applied to the limitations of śāstrika rules, only develops one’s bhāva in small increments. Bhāva fully increases through one’s attempts to cultivate devotion to Kṛṣṇa. As soon as bhāva arises, the devotee becomes a recipient of Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. There is a long delay in attaining this stage, and this is called vaidhi-bhakti. Rāgātmikā-bhakti is superior, awards faster results and attracts Kṛṣṇa. The various forms that are seen in this are described in this śloka. Deep respect is in the mood of śānta, servitorship is in the mood of dāsya, natural affection is in the mood of sakhya. Then there is the mood of vātsalya (parental affection) and conjugal love which is in the mood of madhura – these are included within rāgātmikā-bhakti. Anger, fear and bewilderment – these are rāgātmikā (spontaneous) but they are not bhakti. This is because they have an unfavourable mood (pratikūlya) and are not favourable (anukūlya). Śiśupāla and other Asuras were angry. Kaṁsa and others had fear, and the māyāvādī scholars are seen to have bewilderment. They all have spontaneous feelings of anger, spontaneous feelings of fear and spontaneous feelings of complete forgetfulness in realising Brahman. There is no bhakti amongst all of these because they are unfavourable. Again, amongst śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya and śṛṅgara, the mood of śānta is mostly passive engagement. It is almost devoid of spontaneous sentiments (rāga). But in so far as it is favourable, it may be counted amongst bhakti. Among the four other moods, there is plenty of rāga. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante taṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham (“In whatever way people surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.”– Bhagavad-gītā 4.11) – according to this promise in the Gītā, the cultivators of the spontaneous sentiments of anger, fear and bewilderment achieve the bewilderment of impersonal liberation (sāyujya). Those in śānta achieve a form conducive to Brahman and Paramātmā. Those in dāsya and sakhya achieve a male or female form conducive to their different qualifications. Those in vātsalya achieve forms conducive to mothers and fathers. Those in śṛṅgara achieve the forms of divine gopīs.
śriyaḥ kāntāḥ kāntaḥ parama-puruṣaḥ kalpa-taravo
drumā bhūmiś cintāmaṇi-gaṇa-mayi toyam amṛtam
kathā gānaṁ nāṭyaṁ gamanam api vaṁśī priya-sakhi
cid-ānandaṁ jyotiḥ param api tad āsvādyam api ca
sa yatra kṣīrābdhiḥ sravati surabhībhyaś ca su-mahān
nimeṣārdhākhyo vā vrajati na hi yatrāpi samayaḥ
bhaje śvetadvīpaṁ tam aham iha golokam iti yaṁ
vidantas te santaḥ kṣiti-virala-cārāḥ katipaye
In that place, where there are divine Lakṣmīs in the form of lovers, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Person, is the only beloved. The trees there are desire-trees, the land itself is cintāmaṇi, in other words, in is comprised of spiritual jewels. The water is nectar, words are songs, walking is a dance, the flute is the dearest friend, light is full of consciousness and bliss, and supreme transcendental elements are relishable and pleasurable. In that place, a great ocean of milk is continuously flowing from millions and millions of surabhī cows, and transcendental time is in the eternal present without the phases of past and future, thus there is not even half a moment of the past. I worship that supreme seat, Śvetadvīpa. This abode known as Goloka is seldom known by very few sādhus in this material world.
This place which is attainable through the jīva’s worship of the most superior rasa is fully spiritual ad not devoid of qualities. Through anger, fear and bewilderment, one achieves the bode of nirviśeṣa Brahman. According to their rasa, the devotees achieve the transcendental world of Paravyoma Vaikuṇṭḥa or Goloka which is situated above that. In reality, that place is known as Śvetadvīpa (‘white island’) because it is extremely pure. In the material world, whoever attains perfection in the highest rasas of bhakti, perceiving the reality of Śvetadvīpa within Gokula-Vṛndāvana and Navadvīpa within this world, refer to this place as Goloka. Within this Goloka the lovers possess transcendental variety, the Lover (Śrī Kṛṣṇa), the trees, creepers, land (with its mountains, rivers and forests), the water, speech, walking, the sound of the flute, the moon and sun, relishable things and taste (in other words, the inconceivable and miraculous nature of the sixty-four arts), all the cows, the milk which flows like nectar and transcendental time which is in the present eternally, are always lustrous.
In śāstras such as the Vedas, Purāṇas and Tantras, there are descriptions of Goloka in many places. The Chāndogya says:
brūyād yāvan vā ayam ākāśas tāvan eṣa antar hṛda ākāśaḥ ubhe asmin dyāvā-pṛthivī antar eva samāhite. ubhāv agniś ca vāyuś ca sūrya-candramasāv ubhau vidyun nakṣatrāṇi yac cāsyehāsti yac ca nāsti sarvaṁ tad asmin samāhitam iti (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.1.3)
The basic explanation of this is that whatever form of variegatedness we perceive in this māyika world all exists there (in the spiritual world) with even more variety. The variety of the spiritual world is permanent, but the variety of the mundane world is impermanent, thus is bestows pleasure and misery. Permanent variety is spotless and possesses consciousness and bliss. By means of śuddha–bhakti–samādhi (deep realisation through pure bhakti), the Vedas and the devotee-sādhus who follow the Vedas perceive this abode by taking support from their transcendental functions which are motivated by bhakti. Furthermore, by the strength of Kṛṣṇa’s mercy, their minute spiritual propensity allows them to attain limitless qualities and equal enjoyment with Kṛṣṇa. The term param api tad āsvādyam api ca has a confidential meaning. The phrase param api indicates that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Truth (para-tattva) amongst all manifestations of consciousness and bliss. And the phrase tad āsvādyam api indicates that Reality which He relishes (asvādya-tattva). The glories of Rādhikā’s love, the rasa of Kṛṣṇa that Rādhikā experiences, and the pleasure that Rādhikā achieves from that experience – when Kṛṣṇa relishes these three bhāvas, He attains gaura–tattva. That is the happiness of rasa-sevā which manifests there. This is also eternally present in that Śvetadvīpa.
athovāca mahā-viṣṇur bhagavantaṁ prajāpatim
brahman mahattva-vijñāne prajā-sarge ca cen matiḥ
pañca-ślokīm imāṁ vidyāṁ vatsa dattāṁ nibodha me
Hearing this substantial prayer, Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa said to Brahmā: O Brahmā, if you possess the inclination towards great knowledge in order to create progeny, then, O child, listen to the knowledge of these five ślokas from me.
Because Brahmā was bewildered and uttered the Names ‘Kṛṣṇa’ and ‘Govinda’ which indicate His form, qualities and pastimes, Bhagavān became pleased. The desire to create was in Brahmā’s heart. Kṛṣna began to tell Brahmā, “Pure exclusive bhakti may be performed by the jīvas within the world of repeated birth and death by following the instructions of Bhagavān. Transcendental knowledge is the greatest knowledge. If you desire to create progeny with that knowledge, then listen to these five ślokas – in other words, the five ślokas that I will say after this concerning knowledge of bhakti.” (He says that while engaged in activities within the material world, one can perform bhakti–sādhana by following Bhagavān’s instructions).
prabuddhe jñāna-bhaktibhyām ātmany ānanda-cin-mayī
udety anuttamā bhaktir bhagavat-prema-lakṣaṇā
When spiritual realisation arises through jñāna and bhakti, the greatest bhakti of all, which is characterised by bhagavat-prema for Śrī Kṛṣna, who is dear to the self, manifests.
Jñāna specifically refers to sambandha–jñāna. In particular, sambandha-jñāna means knowledge of cit (spirit), acit (matter) and kṛṣṇa–tattva. Here, it does not refer to adhyātmika-jñāna (impersonal, psychological knowledge) because that is opposed to bhakti. The knowledge found in the first seven tattvas in the Daśa–mūla are sambandha–jñāna. Abhideya-tattva is according to the bhakti–śāstras. The activities of śravaṇa, kīrtana, smaraṇa, pāda-sevana, arcana, vandana, dāsya, sakhya and ātma–nivedana are endeavours to cultivate Kṛṣna. These are especially described in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. In this way, bhakti which is characterised by prema arises through this jñāna and bhakti. This is the highest type of bhakti which is the ultimate goal (sādhya-tattva) of the jīva.
pramāṇais tat-sad-ācārais tad-abhyāsair nirantaram
bodhayan ātmanātmānaṁ bhaktim apy uttamāṁ labhet
The highest bhakti is achieved by the progressive realisation of one’s inherent nature (svarūpa) through pramāṇa (evidence), sadācāra (good conduct), and abhyāsa (practice).
Pramāṇa (evidence) refers to those śāstras about Bhagavān such as the Vedas, Purāṇas, Gītā etc. and other bhakti–śāstra. Sadācāra (good conduct) refers to the behaviour of pure devotee sādhus, and that behaviour which is based upon rāga, followed by the sādhus who engage in rāga–bhakti. Tad-abhyāsa (practice) refers to practice which is cultivated throughout the day and night after receiving hari-nāma which is comprised of the name, form, qualities and pastimes, as understood from the śāstra and the Daśa-mūla. It is understood from this that there should be reflection upon the śāstra and sādhu–saṅga. While cultivating hari-nāma with proper conduct, the ten offences to the Holy Name will not remain. Following the sādhus who perceive the Holy Name without offences is abhyāsa. By gradually practicing sādhana in this way, the goal, which is bhakti characterised by prema, will arise.
yasyāḥ śreyas-karaṁ nāsti yayā nirvṛtim āpnuyāt
yā sādhayati mām eva bhaktiṁ tām eva sādhayet
Sādhana-bhakti produces that prema-bhakti, of which there is nothing more auspicious. Through this, one achieves supreme bliss and one can attain Me.
There is nothing more auspicious for the jīva than prema–bhakti. Through the objective of bhakti, the jīva achieves supreme bliss. The feet of Kṛṣṇa are only attained by prema–bhakti. That person who follows this sādhana-bhakti with eagerness, by practicing it properly, he can achieve the goal. Other cannot.
dharmān anyān parityajya mām ekaṁ bhaja viśvasan
yādṛśī yādṛśī śraddhā siddhir bhavati tādṛśī
kurvan nirantaraṁ karma loko’yam anuvartate
tenaiva karmaṇā dhyāyan māṁ parāṁ bhaktim icchati
Abandon all other dharma and worship Me with conviction. One will achieve perfection according to his śraddhā. The people of this world are constantly engaged in activities pursuing things. Through performing activities while meditating upon Me, you will achieve bhakti, characterised by prema.
Dharma which is characterised by pure bhakti is the true dharma of the jīva – in other words, it is the jīva’s eternal dharma. Other types of dharma are all aupādhika-dharma (designated dharma). The dharma of brahma–jñāna is directed towards nirvāṇa (impersonal liberation), the dharma of aṣṭāṅga–yoga is directed towards kaivalya (oneness with the Paramātmā), the dharma of karma–kāṇḍa is directed towards mundane pleasure. Jñāna–yoga, combined with karma and jñāna, and the dharma of dry renunciation – all these various types are perceived as aupādhika-dharma. Abandon all these and worship Me by taking support from the dharma of bhakti based upon conviction. Exclusive śraddhā in Me is viśvāsa (conviction). That conviction eventually becomes pure and then becomes niṣṭhā, ruci, āsakti and bhāva. To the extent that śraddhā is pure, to that extent perfection will arise. If one says, “If one is continually busy with this kind of perfection in bhakti, then how will one protect the body and move about in society? If society and the body become inactive, how can one make any endeavours to perfect bhakti with a dead body?” In order to destroy this doubt, Bhagavān has said that such a person (of this world) should constantly engage in work, and while doing so he should meditate upon it and destroy the karmika results of that work by establishing them as bhakti. A man maintains the body throughout life through three kinds of activities related to the body, mind and society. There are various bodily activities such as eating, sitting, walking, resting, sleeping, cleaning, dressing etc. There are various mental activities such as thinking, remembering, concentrating, pondering upon topics, understanding pleasure and distress etc. Many societal activities are seen such as marriages, the relationship between a king and his subjects, fraternity, attending sacrifices, philanthropic works, maintaining the family, taking care of guests, dealing with others and showing them respect etc. When all these activities are performed for one’s own enjoyment, then they are all said to be karma-kāṇḍa. If there is an opportunity to achieve knowledge through these activities, then they are said to be karma–yoga or jñāna–yoga. And when all these activities are favourable for bhakti–sādhana, then all these activities are called indirect bhakti–yoga. But only activities characterised by pure worship are said to be direct bhakti. While engaging in direct bhakti and indirect bhakti when dealing with the world, one should meditate upon Me in all activities. In this regard, although the jīva engages in activities, he doesn’t become averse to Me (bahirmukha). By this process one turns towards Me (antarmukha). Thus the Īśopaniṣad states:
īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam
“Everything in this world is covered by the Lord. Therefore, one should practice renunciation along with enjoyment. One should not desire the wealth of others.” (Īśopaniṣad 1)
The commentator has said, tena iśatyaktena visṛṣṭena. The basic explanation of this is that if, by good fortune, one accepts everything as mercy bestowed by Bhagavān, then the karmika aspect of that activity does not remain and it becomes bhakti. Thus the Īśopaniṣad states:
kurvann eveha karmāṇi jijīviṣec chataṁ samāḥ
evaṁ tvayi nānyatheto’sti na karma lipyate nare
“You should desire to live in this world for a hundred years by acting as previously described. If you live like this, you will not be defiled by karma. There is no other way.” (Īśopaniṣad 2)
If one does like this, even if he lives for hundreds of years, he will never be tainted by karma. For those who are partial to jñāna, the meaning of these two mantras is the rejection of the results of karma. However, the meaning for those who are partial to bhakti is that by offering everything to Bhagavān, one attains His mercy. On the path of arcana, one should engage in activities within this world while meditating upon the worship of Bhagavān. Within his heart, Brahmā had the desire to create. if this desire to create is performed while meditating on following the instructions of Bhagavān, then it is a secondary dharma which nourishes a favourable mood belonging to bhakti which is characterised by surrender to Bhagavān. It was indeed proper to impart this kind of instruction to Brahmā. If renunciation of anything not connected to Kṛṣṇa naturally arises within a jīva who has already attained bhāva, then such instructions are not applicable.
ahaṁ hi viśvasya carācarasya
bījaṁ pradhānaṁ prakṛtiḥ pumāṁś ca
mayāhitaṁ teja idaṁ bibharṣi
vidhe vidhehi tvam atho jaganti
O Creator! Listen, I am the seed of this universe which is comprised of animate and inanimate beings – in other words, I am that reality who is the source (mūla-tattva). I am the manifested state of existence (pradhāna), I am the unmanifested state (prakṛti) and I am the Supreme Enjoyer (puruṣa). The divine power (brahma-tejas) which is within you has been given by Me. Wielding this power, create the universe of animate and inanimate creatures.
Some philosophers conclude, “The Supreme Object, the non-differentiated Brahman, undergoes a transformation and appears to accept qualities. Or, when māyā is divided she becomes the world of birth and death, and undivided, is the state of Brahman. Or Brahman is the original object (bimba) and the world is it’s reflection (pratibimba). Or everything is the jīva’s bewilderment.”
Some think, “Intrinsically, īśvara is one, the jīva is one, and the universe comprised of the five gross elements is another tattva and they are eternally independent and separate. Or īśvara possesses qualities and everything else, including spirit and matter and their qualities, are one tattva.”
Some believe that, “By the potency of the acintya-śakti, factually He is sometimes non-dual and sometimes He is two.”
Some conclude that, “Devoid of the concept of potency, Advaitavādīs are useless. Therefore, Brahman is an eternally pure non-dual tattva possessing pure potency.”
All these doctrines stem from the Vedas, taking refuge in the Vedānta–sūtra. Although there is no perfect truth in all of these philosophies, some amount of truth is there. The aforementioned ideologies, what to say of those that are opposed to the Vedas such as Sāṅkhya, Pātañjala, Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Pūrva-mīmāṁsa etc. that favour karma-kāṇḍa which is only one section approved by the Vedas, have appeared by taking superficial support from the Vedānta. Rejecting all these doctrines, you and your pure sampradāya should accept the supreme truth of acintya–bhedābheda. Only then can you become a pure devotee. The basic explanation is this – the animate universe is comprised of jīvas and the inanimate universe is comprised of matter. Within that, My parā-śakti (superior potency) manifested all the jīvas as the marginal potency (taṭastha), and My apara-śakti (inferior potency) manifested the universe. I am the seed of all things – in other words, being non-different from the material energy, I regulate them through the icchā-śakti (potency of divine will). By the transformation of these potencies, pradhāna, prakṛti and puruṣa are manifest. Therefore, as the śakti-tattva, I am pradhāna, prakṛti and puruṣa. In terms of śaktimān–tattva (the possessor of potencies), I am eternally separate from all of them. Such simultaneous difference and non-difference stems from my avicintya-śakti (inconceivable potency). Thus, through mutual knowledge of the relationship between the jīva, matter and Kṛṣṇa, based upon acintya-bhedābheda-tattva, one achieves krṣṇa-prema through pure bhakti–yoga – may these traditional teachings remain within the paramparā of your sampradāya.
jīvābhaya-pradā vṛttir jīvāśaya-prakāśinī
kṛtā bhaktivinodena surabhī-kuñja-vāsinā
“This Prakāśinī commentary which reveals the thoughts of Śrī Jīva and bestows fearlessness on the jīva, was composed by Bhaktivinoda, a resident of Śurabhī Kuñja.”
iti śrī-brahma-saṁhitāya bhagavat-siddhānta-saṅgrahe
mūla-sūtrākhya pañcama adhyayera
prakāśinī nāmnī gauḍīya-vṛtti samāptā
“Thus ends the Gauḍīya commentary called Prakāśinī on the original verses of the fifth chapter of Śrī Brahma Saṁhitā, a compendium of conclusions concerning the Supreme Lord.”