Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Daśa Mūla

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Daśa MūlaŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Daśa Mūla
Vaiṣṇavera Vyavahāra Duḥkha (The Worldly Difficulties of a Vaiṣṇava)Vaiṣṇavera Vyavahāra Duḥkha (The Worldly Difficulties of a Vaiṣṇava)

The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Daśa Mūla explains the ten major philosophical points of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism as found in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Daśa Mūla

by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura

  1. Pramāṇaṁ veda śāstraṁ (The Vedic scriptures as the source of valid knowledge)

kālena naṣṭā pralaye vāṇīyaṁ veda-saṁjñitā
mayādau brahmaṇe proktā dharmo yasyāṁ mad-ātmakaḥ

Śrī Kṛṣṇa told Uddhava – “In the beginning I spoke these instructions known as the Vedas to Brahmā. Therein, the jaiva-dharma (eternal dharma of the jīva) in its intrinsic form of pure bhakti, which is fixed firmly upon Me, is explained. This knowledge known as the Vedas is eternal. During the time of annihilation, it is destroyed and thus at the time of creation, I speak it in detail to Brahmā. (Bhāgavatam 11.14.3)


  1. Sambandhaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (The Knowledge of One’s Relationship with Kṛṣṇa)

yad-darśanaṁ nigama ātma-rahaḥ-prakāśaṁ
muhyanti yatra kavayo ’ja-parā yatantaḥ
taṁ sarva-vāda-viṣaya-pratirūpa-śīlaṁ
vande mahā-puruṣam ātma-nigūḍha-bodham

O Bhagavān, the Vedas alone reveal confidential knowledge about You, thus Brahmā and others scholars are bewildered in their attempts to comprehend You through Sāṅkhya-yoga etc. You manifest Yourself in different forms or in different ways to the followers of Sāṅkhya and other philosophies. Knowledge of Your form is hidden from the jīvas by the bodily designations covering’s its identity. I worship You in Your form as the Mahā-Puruṣa. (Bhāgavatam 12.8.49)

  1. Kṛṣṇa-śakti (The energies of Kṛṣṇa)

yac-chaktayo vadatāṁ vādināṁ vai
vivāda-saṁvāda-bhuvo bhavanti
kurvanti caiṣāṁ muhur ātma-mohaṁ
tasmai namo ’nanta-guṇāya bhūmne

Prajāpati Dakṣa said – “I offer obeisance unto the all-pervading Supreme, who possesses unlimited divine qualities. His various potencies cause different philosophers to agree and disagree among themselves and thus they are continually bewildered as to the true nature of ātmā. (Bhāgavatam 6.4.31)

yo vā anantasya guṇān anantān
anukramiṣyan sa tu bāla-buddhiḥ
rajāṁsi bhūmer gaṇayet kathañcit
kālena naivākhila-śakti-dhāmnaḥ

The unlimited Supreme Person has unlimited qualities. One who tries to measure them has the intelligence of a child. Even if one could count all the dust particles on the earth, still the qualities of Bhagavān, the reservoir of all time and all potencies, can never be counted. (Bhāgavatam 11.4.2)

  1. Kṛṣṇa-rasa (Transcendental mellows)

mallānām aśanir nṛṇāṁ nara-varaḥ strīṇāṁ smaro mūrtimān
gopānāṁ sva-jano ’satāṁ kṣiti-bhujāṁ śāstā sva-pitroḥ śiśuḥ
mṛtyur bhoja-pater virāḍ aviduṣāṁ tattvaṁ paraṁ yogināṁ
vṛṣṇīnāṁ para-devateti vidito raṅgaṁ gataḥ sāgrajaḥ

The rasas of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the just like a kadamba flower, are described. “When Śrī Kṛṣṇa, along with Baladeva, entered the wrestling arena of Kaṁsa, different people saw Him according to their different rasas with Him. All the wrestlers, that loved vīra-rasa (the mellow of chivalry), saw Kṛṣṇa directly as a thunderbolt. The women, inclined towards madhura-rasa (the conjugal mellows) saw Him as the god of love. The men as the sole master of all men of the world. All the cowherd men, that loved sakhya and vatsalya rasas, saw Him as their relative. All the frightened impious kings saw Kṛṣṇa as a chastiser. His father and mother saw Him as their most beautiful child. The king of the Bhojas (Kaṁsa) saw Him as death personified. Those with mundane consciousness saw Him as the universal form. The great yogīs situated in śānta-rasa saw Him as the Absolute Truth. The men of the Vṛṣṇi Dynasty recognised Him as their Supreme Deity. (Bhāgavatam 10.43.17)

  1. Jīvaḥ (The living entities)

ekasyaiva mamāṁśasya jīvasyaiva mahā-mate
bandho ’syāvidyayānādir vidyayā ca tathetaraḥ

Bhagavān said – “O Uddhava! Most intelligent one! The jīva is said to be an aṁśa of Mine. Due to beginningless ignorance he has become conditioned, and by beginningless knowledge he can be freed.”

In this regard it is necessary to understand the meaning of the word aṁśa. Īśvara is indivisible and of a transcendental substance, thus He cannot be cut into pieces like wood or stone. Generally, when a part is created in this way, the original substance is diminished. Therefore, to a certain extent we can use the analogy of many lamps being lit from one lamp. A mundane analogy cannot be perfect. The analogy of a touchstone that remains unchanged yet produces gold is only partially correct. Īśvara has two kinds of aṁśas – one type is called svāṁśa and the other type is called vibhinnāṁśa. In relation to svāṁśa, we may say that when a big lamp is lit from another big lamp, it receives all the potency of the first big lamp, yet the first lamp remains the same. The characteristics of svāṁśa are in puruṣāvatāras and līlāvatāras. As regards vibhinnāṁśas, it may be said that when a smaller gem or a piece of gold is created by a touchstone, it does not receive the great potency of the touchstone. Only some minute qualities appear within the finite aṁśa. All jīvas beginning with Brahmā manifest in order to carry out His work, but if they do not take shelter of the touchstone, they become perverted. Then they become responsible for their own actions and lose their independence. However, some vibhinnāṁśas possess powers of superior quality and some vibhinnāṁśas possess very little power. A vibhinnāṁśa can never achieve the supreme nature of the touchstone. The jīva is a vibhinnāṁśa. (Bhāgavatam 11.11.4)

  1. Baddha-jīvaḥ (Conditioned jīvas)

suparṇāv etau sadṛśau sakhāyau
yadṛcchayaitau kṛta-nīḍau ca vṛkṣe
ekas tayoḥ khādati pippalānnam
anyo niranno ’pi balena bhūyān

Two friendly birds of a similar nature come and settle in the tree of saṁsāra (the material realm). Amongst them, one eats the fruits of the pippala tree. The other bird does not eat them, and is superior due to His potency. (Bhāgavatam 11.11.6)

  1. Mukta-jīvaḥ (Liberated jīvas)

ātmānam anyaṁ ca sa veda vidvān
apippalādo na tu pippalādaḥ
yo ’vidyayā yuk sa tu nitya-baddho
vidyā-mayo yaḥ sa tu nitya-muktaḥ

The bird who does not eat the fruits of the pippala tree knows Himself and the other bird. The bird that eats does not know himself or the other bird. The bird that eats the pippala fruit is covered by ignorance and is said to be eternally bound. The bird that doesn’t eat the pippala fruit is in knowledge and is thus eternally liberated. If he gets to know the bird that both does not eat the fruits and also gets to know himself, the bird that eats the fruit can also become liberated. Thus, he does not have to eat the pippala fruit anymore (he does not have to taste the fruits of his karma). (Bhāgavatam 11.11.7)

  1. Māyā-jīveśvara-paraspara-sambandhaḥ (The relationship between Kṛṣṇa, the jīvas and matter)

aham evāsam evāgre nānyat kiñcāntaraṁ bahiḥ
saṁjñāna-mātram avyaktaṁ prasuptam iva viśvataḥ

Before the creation of this world, I alone existed. Sat (spirit), asat (matter) or even the indescribable impersonal Brahman – there was nothing that existed separate from Me. After creation, I exist in this all-encompassing form, and when creation dissolves only I will remain. (Bhāgavatam 2.9.33 – Catuḥśloki 1)

te ‘rthaṁ yat pratīyeta na pratīyeta cātmani
tad vidyād ātmano māyāṁ yathābhāso yathā tamaḥ

In the previous śloka, knowledge of the form of the Supreme Truth was ascertained. Yet, from that form, if knowledge of other substances does not firmly fix one in knowledge of that Supreme Truth, then there will be no realisation. That substance which is different from the Supreme Truth is known as māyā. Knowledge of māyā-tattva is extensively give in this śloka. The Supreme Truth is real. Whatever seems to appear outside this Truth and whatever does not appear in the personal substance of the Supreme Truth is known as the manifestation of māyā. This is not easily understood, so two limited examples are given. The Supreme Truth is considered to be like the sun. Substances that are distinct from the sun appear in two forms – one form is the reflection (ābhāsa) and the other form is darkness (tamaḥ). When the sun’s reflection on a place where there is water it is known as ābhāsa (reflection). When the effect of the sun is not visible that is called tamaḥ, meaning darkness. The spiritual world is by nature a ray of the Lord’s form. The manifestation of māyā is a reflection because it is similar to it – this is the example of ābhāsa. The darkness which is very far away from spiritual substance is a manifestation of māyā – this is the second example. The meaning is this – ātma-tattva and māyā-tattva are related to each other in two ways; the first connection is this – other substances that are manifested but are different from one’s spiritual identity (ātma-svarūpa) are ‘māyā’ and the spiritual identity is actually very far away from that which is not the ātma (anātma), ignorance (ajñāna) and māyā. (Bhāgavatam 2.9.34 – Catuḥśloki 2)

yathā mahānti bhūtāni bhūteṣūccāvaceṣv anu
praviṣṭāny apraviṣṭāni tathā teṣu na teṣv aham

Just as all the gross elements enter into both higher and lower beings and remain distinct, similarly, as Paramātmā, I am the shelter of all beings that exist, and I enter into this universe which is comprised of living entities; simultaneously I eternally remain in My separate form as Bhagavān, the only loving treasure of the devotees. This is the meaning – all the five gross material elements, earth, water, fire, air and ether that manifest this material universe remain within it as its ingredients, yet exist separately in the form of the gross elements. Similarly, by His jīva-śakti (marginal potency) and jaḍa-śakti (material potency), the transcendental Supreme Controller creates the universe and completely pervades it with a single fragment of Himself and simultaneously exists eternally in His transcendental abode in His completely spiritual form.

Furthermore, in their spiritual forms, the ray-like atomic jīvas, relish the bliss of the pure prema of Him, being situated on the path of the pure love. This is a mystery. (Bhāgavatam 2.9.35 – Catuḥśloki 3)

etāvad eva jijñāsyaṁ tattva-jijñāsunātmanaḥ
anvaya-vyatirekābhyāṁ yat syāt sarvatra sarvadā

One who is inquisitive about ātma-tattva (knowledge of the self) should, after due deliberation on this topic, search for that substance which is eternal at all times and in all places. The meaning is this – the method that helps one to attain the secret of prema is known as sādhana-bhakti. That person who is inquisitive about the Absolute Truth will attain transcendental knowledge from the lotus feet of a genuine guru, directly and indirectly, gradually cultivating that knowledge that he received by following the instructions on rules and prohibitions. (Bhāgavatam 2.9.36 – Catuḥśloki 4)


  1. Abhidheya (The process of attaining Kṛṣṇa)

tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam

A person who desires to know what is to be done and what is not to be done and who wishes to know what is the highest benefit should take shelter of a genuine guru. A genuine guru is one who is expert in ‘śabda’ which means the śāstra. Pare means that he has taken total shelter of bhagavat-tattva. One who knows the śāstra and is a pure devotee is a real guru. To attain more details, one should take shelter of a genuine guru. (Bhāgavatam 11.3.21)

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam

Hearing about Śrī Kṛṣṇa, chanting about Him, remembering Him, serving His lotus feet, worshiping Him, offering prayers to Him, becoming His servant, considering Him one’s friend, and surrendering everything unto Him – these are the nine symptoms of bhakti. (Bhāgavatam 7. 5. 23)

vikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ
śraddhānvito ‘nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yaḥ
bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ
hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ

One who, with transcendental faith, listens to or describes the narration of the divine pastimes of the Lord with the young girls of Vraja as described in the five chapters of Rasa-līlā, such a sense-controlled person (dhīra-puruṣa) will attain the highest bhakti to Bhagavān and will quickly drive material lust, the disease of the heart, far away. The meaning is this – kṛṣṇa-līlā is fully spiritual. When one discusses with faith, meaning with an endeavour to understand spiritual topics, the transcendental līlā of Kṛṣṇa, with the transcendental gopīs, one’s material attachment and material lust disappear in proportion to the rise of cit-prema (divine love). When that divine līlā is fully manifested, there is not even a trace of a smell of mundane lust. (Bhāgavatam 10.33.39)


  1. Prayojana (The supreme goal of life)

smarantaḥ smārayantaś ca mitho ‘ghaugha-haraṁ harim
bhaktyā sañjātayā bhaktyā bibhraty utpulakāṁ tanum

They (the devotees) constantly remember Lord Hari, who removes all sins, and remind each other of Him; thus, their bodies feel the ecstasy of prema-bhakti that they develop through the practice of sādhanabhakti. (Bhāgavatam 11.3.31)

kvacid rudanty acyuta-cintayā kvacid
dhasanti nandanti vadanty alaukikāḥ
nṛtyanti gāyanty anuśīlayanty ajaṁ
bhavanti tūṣṇīṁ param etya nirvṛtāḥ

The stages of bhakti beginning with śraddhā and up to asakti are within abhidheya-tattva. Bhāva-bhakti is the first sign of premabhakti. Herein, the topics of prema and bhāva were only discussed in order to embellish abhidheya. Now he directly discusses the attributes of bhava. Having abandoned bad association, they (the devotees) wander around, hearing Kṛṣṇa’s all-auspicious pastimes, His appearance, activities and human-like feats, and chanting without shame His names that are connected to His līlā, such as Madhusūdana and Murāri etc. In this way, there is a small transformation of the heart, their hairs stand on end, and they shed tears. This happens because bhava is the first sign of prema. (Bhāgavatam 11.3.32)

na pāraye ‘haṁ niravadya-saṁyujāṁ
sva-sādhu-kṛtyaṁ vibudhāyuṣāpi vaḥ
yā mābhajan durjara-geha-śṛṅkhalāḥ
saṁvṛścya tad vaḥ pratiyātu sādhunā

O gopīs, your relationship with Me is most pure. I will never be able to repay you even by trying to do so over the course of a long life. With great endeavour you have attained Me by completely cutting the bonds of saṁsāra. I am unable to repay My debt to you. Therefore, kindly be satisfied with your own deeds. (Bhāgavatam 10.32.22)

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Daśa MūlaŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Daśa Mūla
Vaiṣṇavera Vyavahāra Duḥkha (The Worldly Difficulties of a Vaiṣṇava)Vaiṣṇavera Vyavahāra Duḥkha (The Worldly Difficulties of a Vaiṣṇava)

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