atraiva vraja-bhāvānāṁ śraiṣṭhyam uktam aśeṣataḥ
mathurā-dvārakā-bhāvas teṣāṁ puṣṭi-karā matāḥ
In this book the moods of Vraja have already been elaborately described. The moods of Mathurā and Dvārakā nourish the moods of Vraja.
jīvasya maṅgalārthāya vraja-bhāvo vivicyate
yad bhāva-saṅgato jivaś cāmṛtatvāya kalpate
I will now discuss the moods of Vraja for the auspiciousness of the living entities. By remaining attached to the moods of Vraja, the living entities achieve eternal life.
anvaya-vyatirekābhyāṁ vivicyāyaṁ mayādhunā
anvayāt pañca sambandhāḥ śānta-dāsyādayaś ca ye
These moods of Vraja will now be directly and indirectly considered. Through direct consideration, śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, and mādhurya are found.
kecit tu vraja-rājasya dāsa-bhāva-gatāḥ sadā
apare sakhya-bhāvāḍhyāḥ śrīdāma-subalādayaḥ
Some attain the service of the King of Vraja, and the devotees such as Śrīdāmā and Subala serve the Lord in the mood of friendship.
rādhādyāḥ kānta-bhāve tu vartante rāsa-maṇḍale
Yaśodā, Rohiṇī, and Nanda are the examples of parental love, and gopīs such as Śrī Rādhikā are present in the rāsa-maṇḍala in the conjugal mood.
vṛndāvanaṁ vinā nāsti śuddha-sambandha-bhāvakaḥ
ato vai śuddha-jīvānāṁ ramye vṛndāvane ratiḥ
Pure relationships and their respective moods are found only in Vṛndāvana. That is why pure living entities have a natural attraction for Vṛndāvana-dhāma.
tatraiva kānta-bhāvasya śreṣṭatā śāstra-sammatā
jīvasya nitya-dharmo ‘yaṁ bhagavad bhogyatā matā
All scriptures agree that the conjugal mood of Vṛndāvana is the topmost, because the Lord’ nature as the enjoyer and the living entities’ nature as the enjoyed are purely found therein.
na tatra kuṇṭhatā kācit vartate jīva-kṛṣṇayoḥ
akhaṇḍa-paramānandaḥ sadā syāt prīti-rūpa-dhṛk
In Vaikuṇṭha, there is no anxiety between Kṛṣṇa and the living entities, as both are situated in their eternal constitutional positions. Perpetual supreme happiness in the form of love is eternally present there.
sambhoga-sukha-puṣṭy-arthaṁ vipralambho ‘pi sammataḥ
The ultimate goal of vraja-rasa is the happiness of enjoyment between Kṛṣṇa and the living entities. The mood of separation, in the form of pūrva-rāga, māna, prema-vaicittya, and pravāsa, is extremely essential in nourishing this happiness. This becomes perfected by contemplation on Mathurā and Dvārakā. Therefore, the moods of Mathurā and Dvārakā nourish the moods of Vraja, as previously described.
prapañca-baddha-jīvānāṁ vaidha-dharmāśrayāt purā
adhunā kṛṣṇa-saṁprāptau parakīya-rasāśrayaḥ
According to their qualification, the conditioned living entities first take shelter of regulative devotional service. Later, when attachment awakens, the mood of Vraja awakens. When one externally follows the regulative process of devotional service and internally takes shelter of attachment to Kṛṣṇa, then the relationship between Kṛṣṇa and the devotee known as parakīya-rasa, or paramour love, is appreciated. Just as a married woman becomes overwhelmed by the beauty of another man and secretly becomes attached to him while externally respecting her own husband, similarly the lovers of Kṛṣṇa take shelter of parakīya-rasa by internally cultivating attachment while externally following the regulative principles and respecting the Lord and protector of those principles. This science is very important for persons in the conjugal rasa. The uttama-adhikārīs can never give this up even if they are criticized by the madhyama-adhikārīs. This book is not meant for the kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs, therefore the regulative principles are not being elaborated herein. One will have to study these regulative principles from books like Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. The main purport of the regulative principles is that when the conditioned living entities’ constitutional duties are almost dormant, or pervertedly reflected as attachment for material objects, then whatever the learned doctors prescribe in order to cure the disease are called regulative principles. While wandering in the material world, a great personality is able to arouse his dormant attachment by certain activities. He bestows his mercy on the living entities by establishing those activities as a form of spiritual practice. The prescriptions given by those great personalities must be followed by the kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs as though they were scriptural injunctions. The sages who establish these prescriptions are all uttama-adhikārīs and swan-like personalities. Those persons who cannot awaken attachment by their own efforts have no alternative other than following these prescriptions. In the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam those prescriptions are classified into nine divisions, beginning with hearing and chanting. Those prescriptions have been further discussed in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu as sixty-four limbs. The conclusion is that those whose natural attachment is practically dormant are eligible for vidhi-marga, the path of regulative principles; but as soon as attachment is awakened, the path of regulative principles becomes secondary. Those regulative principles that are followed in order to awaken one’s attachment while cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness should be followed with gratefulness long after attachment is awakened, so that people can follow that example. In any case, swan-like mahātmās reserve the right of either following or giving up the regulative principles.
śrī-gopī-bhāvam-āśritya mañjarī-sevanaṁ tadā
sakhīnāṁ saṅgatis tasmāt tasmād rādhā-padāśrayaḥ
In the upāsanā-kāṇḍa, or Vedic division on worship, attachment is divided into three categories—pure attachment, attachment in the mood of Vaikuṇṭha, and attachment based on material examples of spiritual relationships. Pure attachment, or mahā-bhāva, is the property of Rādhikā, who is half of Kṛṣṇa’s form. Similar but slightly different to mahā-bhāva are the eight pure symptoms of transcendental ecstatic love, personified by the eight sakhīs. Similar to the mood of the sakhīs (please see the commentary on 7.2) are attachments based on material examples of spiritual relationships, personified by the mañjarīs. The worshiper should first take shelter of a mañjarī who has a nature similar to his own. Later he should take shelter of the sakhī who is worshiped by that mañjarī. By the mercy of that sakhī, one will attain the shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhikā. The positions of a worshiper, a mañjarī, a sakhī, and Śrīmatī Rādhikā in the circle of the rāsa dance are similar to an asteroid, a planet, the sun, and Dhruvaloka of the material world.
tatraiva bhāva-bāhulyān mahābhāvo bhaved dhruvaṁ
tatraiva kṛṣṇa-sambhogaḥ sarvānanda-pradāyakaḥ
When the living entities approach mahā-bhāva by gradual advancement of their loving emotions, then enjoyment with Kṛṣṇa, which bestows unlimited bliss, is easily attained.
etasyāṁ vraja-bhāvānāṁ sampattau prati-bandhakāḥ
aṣṭā-daśa-vidhāḥ santi śatravaḥ prīti-dūṣakāḥ
There are eighteen obstacles that pollute one’s ecstatic love in the wonderful mood of Vraja. Contemplating the names of these obstacles is the indirect consideration of the mood of Vraja.
ādau duṣṭa-guru-prāptiḥ pūtanā stanya-dāyinī
vātyā-rūpa-kutarkas tu tṛṇāvarta itīritaḥ
Persons who are on the path of attachment should avoid the first obstacle, accepting a bogus guru, by discussing Pūtanā’s arrival in Vraja in the guise of a nurse [see Appendix A]. There are two types of gurus—antaraṅga, or internal, and bahiraṅga, or external. The living entity who is situated in samādhi is his own antaraṅga guru.
ātmano gurur ātmaiva
śreyo ‘sāv anuvindate
“An intelligent person, expert in perceiving the world around him and in applying sound logic, can achieve real benefit through his own intelligence. Thus sometimes one acts as one’s own instructing spiritual master.” (Bhāg. 11.7.20). One who accepts argument as his guru and who learns the process of worship from such a guru is said to have accepted the shelter of a bogus guru. When argument poses as nourishment for the living entities’ constitutional duties, this may be compared with Pūtanā’s falsely posing as a nurse. Worshipers on the path of attachment must immerse all arguments in spiritual subjects and take shelter of samādhi. The external guru is he from whom the science of worship is learned. One who knows the proper path of attachment and who instructs his disciples according to their qualification is a sad-guru, or eternal guru. One who does not know the path of attachment yet instructs others in this path or who knows that path and instructs his disciples without considering their qualification is a bogus guru and must be given up. The second obstacle is false arguments. It is difficult for one’s ecstatic emotion to be awakened until Tṛṇāvarta, in the form of a whirlwind, is killed in Vraja. In the form of Tṛṇāvarta, the arguments of philosophers, Buddhists, and logicians are all obstacles to the ecstatic emotion of Vraja.
tṛtīye bhāra-vāhitvaṁ śakaṭaṁ buddhi mardakam
caturthe bāla-doṣāṇāṁ svarūpo vatsa-rūpa-dhṛk
Those who do not understand the purpose of the regulative principles but simply carry the burden of following them out of formality are unable to develop attachment. When one destroys Śakaṭa, who personifies carrying the burden of the regulative principles, the third obstacle is overcome. Bogus gurus who did not consider their disciples’ qualification for the path of attachment and thus instructed many Śakaṭa-like people to accept service in the mood of mañjarīs and sakhīs committed offences in the form of disrespecting confidential subject matters and fell down. Those who worship according to such instructions also gradually fall away from spiritual life, because they do not attain the symptoms of deep attachment for those topics. Yet they may still be delivered by the association of devotees and proper instructions. This is called breaking Śakaṭa. The living entities are sober by nature, but when they are disturbed due to possessing a body made of blood and flesh it is called bāla-doṣa, or juvenile offenses. This is the fourth obstacle, in the form of Vatsāsura [see Appendix B].
pañcame dharma-kāpaṭyaṁ nāmāparādha rūpakam
baka-rūpī mahādhūrtto vaiśṇavānāṁ virodhakaḥ
The most clever Bakāsura, who is the personification of cheating religion, is the fifth obstacle for Vaiṣṇavas. This is called nāmāparādha, offences against the holy name of the Lord. Those who do not understand their qualification but accept the instruction of a bogus guru and engage in the process of worship meant for exalted devotees are cheated ass-like people. And those who have understood their ineligibility yet with a goal to accumulate money and prestige still follow the process of worship meant for exalted devotees are called cheaters. Until this cheating in the name of religion is destroyed, one’s attachment will not awaken. Such people deceive the entire world by making a show of sectarian formalities and pseudo-renunciation.
tatraiva sampradāyānāṁ bāhya-liṅga-samādarāt
dāmbhikānāṁ na sā prītiḥ kṛṣṇe vraja-nivāsini
Those who see and respect such proud people’s show of external formalities cannot attain love for Kṛṣṇa and are like thorns in the side of the world. It is to be understood here that one should not disrespect a swan-like person just because he has accepted external formalities that are generally considered detestable. It is the eternal duty of Vaiṣṇavas to develop the symptoms of love by associating with and serving devotees, while remaining indifferent to external formalities.
nṛśaṁsatvaṁ pracaṇḍatvam aghāsura svarūpakam
ṣaṣṭhāparādha rūpo ‘yaṁ vartate pratibandhakaḥ
Aghāsura, the personification of intolerance and cruelty, is the sixth obstacle. Due to a lack of compassion for the living entities there is a possibility that one’s attachment will gradual diminish, because compassion cannot remain separated from attachment. The basis of compassion for the living entities and devotion to Kṛṣṇa is the same.
bahu-śāstra-vicāreṇa ṣan moho vartate satām
sa eva saptamo lakṣyo brahmaṇo mohane kila
If one intensely absorbs his mind in various arguments, opinions, and their respective literatures, then all realisations attained through samādhi are practically lost. This is called illusion based on the flowery words of the Vedas. Being overwhelmed with this illusion, Brahmā doubted the supremacy of Kṛṣṇa. The Vaiṣṇavas should regard this illusion as the seventh obstacle.
dhenūkaḥ sthūla-buddhiḥ syād garddabhas tāla-rodhakaḥ
aṣṭame lakṣyate doṣaḥ sampradāye satāṁ mahān
Subtle discrimination is extremely important for Vaiṣṇavas. Those who invent social distinctions and preach the unbreakable principles of Vaiṣṇavism while breaking them to suit their needs are said to possess gross discrimination. This gross discrimination takes the form of the ass Dhenuka. The ass cannot eat the sweet palm tree fruits, and he opposes others’ attempts to eat them. The purport is that the previous ācāryas of the authorised sampradāyas have written many spiritual literatures, which people with gross discrimination neither understand nor allow others to see. Ass-like devotees who are simply interested in the regulative principles and under the control of gross discrimination are unable to attain a higher platform. Vaiṣṇava principles are so unlimitedly exalted that those who simply remain entangled in the regulative process without endeavouring to understand the science of attachment are comparable to ordinary fruitive workers. Therefore, until the ass Dhenukāsura is killed, one cannot advance in the science of Vaiṣṇavism.
indriyāṇi bhajanty eke tyaktvā vaida-vidhiṁ śubham
navame vṛṣabhās te ‘pi naśyante kṛṣṇa-tejasā
Many weak-hearted people give up the path of regulative principles and enter the path of attachment. When they are unable to realise the souls’ spiritual attachment, they behave like Vṛṣabhāsura [Ariṣṭāsura, the bull] by cultivating perverted material attachment. They will be killed by the prowess of Kṛṣṇa. The example of this obstacle is regularly found among the selfish dharma–dvajīs, the show-bottle devotees.
khalatā daśame lakṣyā kālīye sarpa-rūpake
sampradāya-virodho ‘yaṁ dāvānalo vicintyate
Kāliya’s malice always pollutes the water of the Yamunā, which is the spiritual liquid of the Vaiṣṇavas. It is everyone’s duty to give up this tenth obstacle [see Appendix C]. The eleventh obstacle of the Vaiṣṇavas is sectarianism, which takes the shape of the forest fire. Due to sectarianism a person cannot accept anyone outside of his own group as a Vaiṣṇava, and as a result he faces many obstacles in finding a guru and associating with devotees. Therefore, extinguishing the forest fire is most important.
pralambo dvādaśe cauryam ātmano brahma-vādinām
praviṣṭaḥ kṛṣṇa-dāsye ‘pi vaiśṇavānāṁ sutaskaraḥ
The impersonalists desire to merge the soul in the impersonal Brahman. In other words, searching for the liberation of complete merging is the defect of stealing the self, because there is no happiness in this state. Neither the living entity nor the Lord gain anything from this. If one believes the impersonalists’ philosophy, then he must accept this material world as false. One then denounces Brahman as indifferent and gradually develops doubts about the basis of Brahman. If one deeply discusses this topic, then he is compelled to accept meaningless nescience and nonexistence of the living entities. Thus all of mankind’s endeavours and considerations become meaningless. Sometimes this philosophy enters amongst Vaiṣṇavas in the form of Pralambāsura to spread anarthas, in the form of stealing the self. This is the twelve obstacle in the Vaiṣṇavas’ science of love.
karmaṇaḥ phalam anvīkṣya devendrādi-prapūjanam
trayodaśātmako doṣo varjanīyaḥ prayatnataḥ
The thirteenth obstacle for the Vaiṣṇavas is the worship of minor demigods such as Indra with a desire for fruitive results even after becoming situated in the process of devotional service.
cauryānṛta mayo doṣo vyomāsura svarūpakaḥ
śrī-kṛṣṇa-prīti-paryāptau narāṇāṁ pratibandhakaḥ
The fourteenth obstacle in developing love for Kṛṣṇa is stealing others’ property and speaking lies. These create disturbances in Vraja in the form of Vyomāsura.
varuṇālaya saṁprāptir nandasya citta-mādakam
varjanīyaṁ sadā sadbhir vismṛtir hy ātmano yataḥ
The transcendental happiness of the living entities in Vraja is known as nanda. In order to enhance that happiness, some deluded people drink wine, and as a result they create the great anartha of forgetting themselves. Kidnapping Nanda to the abode of Varuṇa is the fifteenth obstacle for the Vaiṣṇavas. People who are absorbed in the mood of Vraja never drink wine.
pratiṣṭhāparatā bhakti cchalena bhoga-kāmanā
śaṅkhacūḍa iti proktaḥ ṣoḍaśaḥ pratibandhakaḥ
The desire for gaining fame and sense gratification through bhakti is called Śaṅkhacūḍa. This is the sixteenth obstacle. Those whose actions are motivated by a desire for fame are also proud, therefore Vaiṣṇavas should always be careful of such persons.
ānanda-varddhane kiñcit sāyujyaṁ bhāsate hṛdi
tan nanda-bhakṣakaḥ sarpas tena muktaḥ suvaiṣṇavaḥ
As the Vaiṣṇavas’ happiness continually increases in the process of worship, they sometimes lose consciousness. At that time the feeling of merging overcomes them. This feeling of merging with the Lord is the snake that swallowed Nanda Mahārāja. A practitioner who remains free from this snake will become a qualified Vaiṣṇava.
bhakti-tejo-samṛddhyā tu svotkarṣa-jñānavān naraḥ
kadācid duṣṭa-buddhyā tu keśi-ghnam avamanyate
Keśī, a demon in the form of a horse, personifies the practitioner’s conception of being more expert than others in devotional service. When he comes to Vraja, he creates a great disturbance. As a Vaiṣṇava gradually begins proclaiming his own superiority, a mentality of disrespect for the Lord arises and the devotee falls from his position. Therefore, it is most important to prevent this evil mentality from entering the heart. Even if one is expert in devotional service, a Vaiṣṇava will never give up the quality of humility. If one does so, then there is a need for killing Keśī. This is the eighteenth obstacle.
doṣaś cāṣṭādaśa hy ete bhaktānām śatravo hṛdi
damanāyāḥ prayatnena kṛṣṇānanda niṣeviṇā
Those who want to happily serve Kṛṣṇa in the pure mood of Vraja should carefully destroy the above-mentioned eighteen obstacles. Some of these obstacles should be destroyed by a person’s own endeavour and purity, and some should be destroyed by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. A living entity is able to personally destroy the obstacles that are found under the shelter of religious duties samādhi known as savikalpa. The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam explains that these obstacles are actually destroyed by Baladeva. But it is also described that the obstacles that are destroyed by taking shelter of Kṛṣṇa are actually destroyed by Him. Swan-like persons with subtle discrimination should carefully discuss these topics.
jñānināṁ māthurā doṣāḥ karmiṇāṁ pura-vartinaḥ
varjanīyāḥ sadā kintu bhaktāṇāṁ vraja-dūṣakāḥ
Those who are on the path of jñāna should give up the offences found in the realm of Mathurā, and those who are on the path of fruitive activities should give the offences found in Dvārakā. But devotees should give up the obstacles that pollute the mood of Vraja and be absorbed in love for Kṛṣṇa.
Thus ends the Eight Chapter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-saṁhitā, entitled
“Direct and Indirect Considerations on the Moods of Vraja.”
May Lord Kṛṣṇa be pleased.