śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year-4, Issue 5
Posted: 20 June, 2011
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Associate Your Mind With The Divine
by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda
First, we should define true devotion. To that end, we may turn to the second verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ
vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadaṁ tāpa-trayonmūlanam
śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-muni-kṛte kiṁ vā parair īśvaraḥ
sadyo hṛdyavarudhyate ’tra kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt
In this Bhāgavata Purāṇa, where fraudulent religiosity and all other mundane goals of humankind have been utterly forsaken, the supreme spiritual duty (parama-dharma) has been expounded. That parama-dharma is pure bhakti-yoga, exemplified by those saints who are absolutely free from envy and full of compassion for all living beings. Knowing (vedyaṁ) the Supreme Truth within, uproots the three forms of misery and grants the highest form of auspiciousness (śivadaṁ). When those with ample spiritual merit desire to listen to the message of this beautiful Bhāgavatam, which was authored by mahā-muni Śrī Nārāyaṇa Himself, then the Supreme Lord Śrī Hari is immediately and permanently captured within their hearts. What is the need of any other message?
The word projjhita means “that from which all pretensions have been uprooted”. Persons who have already transcended the mundane regions are known as sādhus, and the religion of the sādhus is impressed upon us throughout Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Envy, or matsaratā, is the combination of the five obstacles, namely lust (kāma), anger (krodha), selfish greed (lobha), pride (mada) and delusion (moha). By indulging in these passions we develop envy (matsaratā). Sādhus are free from such envy.
The term vāstava-vastu in this verse means the positive, absolute entity. We should have access to that positive entity and not the negative side, or the dreamlike representations of objects. By the reverential study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the threefold-miseries – namely, adhyātmika (misery caused by mind), adhidaivika (misery caused by the demigods) and adhibhautika (misery caused by other living entities) – are completely eliminated.
* * *
Kṛṣṇa-prema-rasa should be our desired goal. We should be rasika and bhāvuka, and never become devoid of rasa.*
* When various transcendental emotions are perfectly combined, the resultant form of ecstasy is called rasa. One who is perfect in the science of incorporating and realizing transcendental emotion is called rasika, and one who has been elevated to the stage of constantly relishing such pure, transcendental emotion, or bhāva, is called bhāvuka.
If you are forgetful about rendering your service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, you will be denied the entire benefit and compelled to walk upon the stage of this conditioned life. So the true duty of the mind is to associate with the Divine through the senses. We are now deeply absorbed in our passionate senses, which are flying in different directions and are never concentrated on the One And Only. Consequently, we deviate from that Absolute and find hundreds of mundane entities appearing before us.
They tempt us and we engage ourselves in rendering service to them. When we are assured that the only duty of the soul is to render service to the Over-soul, and that our other affiliations are but temporal, we decide that we should fully emerge from the varied engagements of this world that are placed before us. We then come to understand that we are part and parcel of the Fountainhead, the Over-soul, and although we are not the Substance itself, we are fractional parts of one of His potencies. At that time, we naturally conclude that in the transcendental region, no foreign thing should be included, and in this world, we do not find the unalloyed position of transcendence.
* * *
When we suppose ourselves to be part and parcel of this phenomenal universe, we develop the erroneous notion that we are merely subordinate fractions of the phenomenal plane in which we now experience our conditioned life. At present, we are quite enwrapped by two inert wrappers; one made of matter and one made of obstructing subtlety. Hence we run the risk of subscribing to the view that we are correct to identify ourselves with inert matter. Or, if we are more intelligent, we may notice that we have an astral body as well.
In that case, we can be drawn away from the Absolute into increasingly refined ideas of the limited concrete world of matter. Thus, our duty should not be confined to these two foreign wrappers, which are associated solely with foreign things – namely, the material body, which has sense, and its various subtle instruments for sensing – and consequently suppose that the purpose of such equipment is merely to move from the concrete toward the abstract. The refinement of such ideas varies according to our fitness in empirical activity, but all such phenomenal activity applies solely to the external and internal bodies, not to the soul.
We have our own position in the intermediate plane, the land between consciousness (cit) and matter (acit). We call that plane taṭasthā. Some souls are conditioned and some are liberated. Liberation is nothing but returning to our original state – that is, to our eternal position of service to the Supreme Eternal Being, as we are eternal beings.
If we want to be under the control of temporality, we may accomplish as much by trying to enjoy this world, which affords us occasional, mundane happiness; and yet the normal provision of this world is perpetual misery, as all experienced men have observed.
This contradiction itself is very puzzling. Why have we come to this place? We have exercised our free will to play on a particular plane and we have been abusing our free will in order to become the doer. In other words, we have taken an initiative to enjoy this world, and we have thereby submitted ourselves to the trap of the laws of karma.
Adapted from The Gaudiya Volume 27, Number 8
by the Rays of The Harmonist team