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SRI SRI CAITANYA SIKSAMRTA - Chapter one part six

8. 2. 2011

Seven of the topics of discussion were concerning sambandha or relationship.  By that knowledge a person can understand that having forgotten his relationship with Krsna, he has fallen into the material  ocean and is experiencing misery. To extinguish this suffering  a person must  reestablish this relationship.  Then all suffering is finished and he experiences bliss.  The jiva is an eternally perfect  spiritual entity, with factual bondage or suffering.  The suffering occurs because of the illusory identification of the body with self.  Mistaking a rope for snake and sea shell for silver are two examples of illusion mentioned in the Vedas.  not understanding these examples properly the mayavadis mistakenly believe that  the existence of the jiva is an illusion of brahman. When a jiva, by the mercy of an authorized guru understands that these two examples do not refer to the illusory existence of the jiva but rather to the identification of self with subtle and gross bodies, he is on the right course. 

This is the difference between parinama (transformation) and vivarta (illusion).  When an object undergoes a change of form, it is called parinam or vikara.  changing milk to yogurt by addition of acid culture is a transformation.  When an object does not exist, but another object is mistaken for it, that is called vivarta, illusion.  Though the snake is not present, by mistake a person may think  a piece of rope to be a snake.  Though silver is not present, one can mistake a piece of sea shell for silver.  To mistake one thing for another is vivarta bhrama.  The jiva is a pure spiritual entity.  He is not actually bound by maya, but when the illusory factor becomes strong enough to create the illusion that the body is the self vivarta bhrama takes place.1

This conditioned state of the jiva is the state of vivarta. How long does this illusion last?  When a person take instruction from a bona fide guru and firmly identifies himself as servant of Krsna, the  illusion ends.2  Therefore if a person gives up the motive of liberation and performs devotional service, this illusion will easily be removed.   With a motive for liberation he does not achieve his real nature, but rather cultivates  negativity.3  Bhakti is the only means.  Uninformed people reject bhakti and take karma or jnana as the practice.4 Though karma and jnana can be to some extent practiced in a minor way, they can never be the main practice.5  Mahaprabhu said to Sanatana,

        Devotional service to Krsna is the chief function of the living entity.  There are different methods for the liberation of the conditioned soul--karma, jnana, yoga and bhakti--but all are dependent on bhakti.  But for devotional service, all other methods for spiritual self-realization are weak and insignificant.  Unless one comes to the devotional service of Lord Krsna, jnana and yoga cannot give the desired results.    Speculative knowledge alone, without devotional service, is not able to give liberation. On the other hand, even without knowledge one can obtain liberation if one engages in the Lord's devotional service. 
        The living entity is bound around the neck by the chain of maya because he has forgotten that he is eternally a servant of Krsna.  If the conditioned soul engages in the service of the Lord and simultaneously carries out the orders of his spiritual master and serves him he can get out of the clutches of maya and become eligible for shelter at Krsna's lotus feet.
        The followers of the varnasrama institution accept the regulative principles of the four social orders and four spiritual orders.  However, if one carries out the regulative principles of the orders but does not render transcendental service to Krsna, he falls into the hellish condition of material life.  There are many philosophical speculators belonging to the Mayavada school who consider themselves liberated and call themselves Narayana. However, their intelligence is not purified unless they engage in Krsna's devotional service.6
                            C.C.Madhya 22.17-29

Though karma yoga and jnana are mentioned as the practice in various scriptures, the less intelligent people do not take the final conclusion of all the scriptures but establish these processes as the main one.   Though men are of many types, they can be classed as either inclined to enjoyment or renunciation.  In order to attain the next higher level a person performs  sadhana.  However this sadhana is secondary, and cannot be called the main sadhana or abhidheya. The results of these sadhanas are only one further step in progress.  Considering the vastness of the subject, these results are insignificant. Karma, yoga, jnana and their subordinate methods cannot even give any result  without some trace of bhakti.7 If they have bhakti as their final goal, they can yield some secondary results--liberation cannot be attained by jnana alone.  Sambandha jnana which has as its object bhakti gives liberation as its first result.  Bhakti easily gives this mukti as an insignificant, incidental fruit.

Dharma consists of the activities allotted to the four varnas and asramas.  It is also called traivargika dharma (artha, kama and dharma).  This traivargika dharma is discussed in the Second Part of this book.  Mahaprabhu has taught that men with attachment for worldly enjoyment get strength from the practice of these rules to carry on comfortably the maintenance of body and family.  Those with too much attachment are advised to follow the rules of varnasrama, and this will qualify them for bhakti.  But those people who practice varnasrama without making bhakti the goal go to hell, even though they follow their prescribed duties.

In the third part of this book sadhana bhakti will be more elaborately described.  When vaida sadhana bhakti becomes pure,  it becomes qualified for practice of prema.   The love of the jiva for the Lord is the eternal natural dharma of the jiva.  This is the real goal of life-- what is to be attained by the jiva.  But if this object is (already) eternally perfected, then how is it something to be attained by the jiva?

        My dear Sanatana, please now hear about the regulative principles for the execution of devotional service.  By this process, one can attain the highest perfection of love of Godhead, which is the most desirable treasure.   The spiritual activities of hearing, chanting, remembering and so forth are the natural characteristics of devotional service.  The marginal characteristic is that it awakens pure love for Krsna.   Pure love for Krsna is eternally established in the hearts of living entities.  If is not something to be gained from another source.  When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, the living entity naturally awakens.
                                C.C.Madhya 22.104-107

Prema is a perfect object.  When the jiva is under illusion, the prema appears in marginal form, not in its original (svarupa) form.  Sadhana bhakti's main characteristics are the activities of chanting, hearing and remembering Krsna's name, qualities, forms and pastimes.8  By performing this sadhana gradually prema appears in marginal form, like a hidden fire.  When the jiva finally gives up his subtle body and attains a spiritual body, prema appears in its original form (svarupa).   Thus, Krsna prema is a perfect object, which is not born from practice, but rather it appears in the pure heart by hearing  and other devotional activities. It will be noticed that sadhana is very necessary.

Sadhana bhakti is of two types: vaidhi and raganuga.

        There are two processes of practical devotional service.  one is regulative devotional service, and the other is spontaneous devotional service.   Those who have not attained the platform of spontaneous attachment in devotional service render devotional service under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master according to the regulative principles mentioned in the revealed scriptures.  According to the revealed scriptures, this kind of devotional service is called vaidhi bhakti.
                            C.C.Madhya 22.109-110

When bound jivas have great attachment for everything except Krsna, they have little room for attachment for Krsna.  There is no option   for such jivas but to follow the injunctions of scripture.   This process is called vaidhi  bhakti.  Performing activities from the perspective of what is forbidden and prescribed, taking the scriptural authority as absolute, is the first step on the path of good fortune.  At this stage the stimulus for performing devotional service is the faith of the devotee in the words of scripture.  Accordingly as this faith is at first, tender, then firm and finally deep, results will be reaped. When this faith becomes deep (uttama), it transforms into steadiness, taste, attachment and bhava, by the practice of worship in association of the devotees.  The practitioner can then understand that Krsna alone is the object of remembrance, and that He should never be forgotten.  He understand that all rules, positive or negative, follow from  the principal of always remembering and never forgetting the Lord.  At this stage, the devotee rejects fanatical adherence to the injunctions and prohibitions, and, according to his qualification, gives up some of  the injunctions, and begins to practice some of the (previous) prohibitions.9 Mahaprabhu has given a description of sadhana bhakti in the Caitanya  Caritamrta.

 1.One must accept a bona fide spiritual master. 2. Accept initiation from him. 3. Serve him. 4. Receive instructions from the spiritual master and make inquiries in order to learn devotional service. 5.Follow in the footsteps of the previous acaryas and follow the directions given by the spiritual master.    6.One should be prepared to give up everything for Krsna's satisfaction, and one should also accept everything for Krsna's satisfaction. 7. One must live in a place where Krsna is present-- a city like Vrndavana or Mathura or a Krsna temple. 8. One should acquire a livelihood that is just sufficient to keep body and soul together. 9. One must fast on Ekadasi day.  10. One should worship dhatri trees, banyan trees, cows, brahmanas and devotees of Lord Visnu. 11. One should avoid offenses against devotional service and the holy name.  12. One must give up the company of nondevotees. 13. One should not accept an unlimited number of disciples. 14.One should not partially study many scriptures just to be able to give references and expand explanations. 15. The devotee should treat loss and gain equally. 16. The devotee should not be overwhelmed by lamentation. 17. The devotee should not worship demigods, nor should he disrespect them.  Similarly the devotee should not study or criticize other scriptures.  18. The devotee should not hear Lord Visnu or His devotee blasphemed.  19. The devotee should avoid reading or hearing newspapers or mundane books that contain stories of love affairs between men and women or subjects palatable to the senses. 20. Neither by mind nor words should the devotee cause anxiety to any living entity, regardless how insignificant he may be.    After one is established in devotional service, the positive actions are  1. hearing, 2. chanting 3. remembering 4. worshipping 5. praying 6. serving 7. accepting servitorship 8. becoming  a friend and 9. surrendering fully.  One should also 10. dance before the Deity 11. sing before the deity, 12. open one's mind to the Deity 13. offer obeisances to the Deity 14. stand up before the deity and the spiritual master just to show them respect 16. follow the Deity or the spiritual master 16. visit  different places of pilgrimage or go see the Deity in the temple. 17.circumambulate the temple 18. recite various prayers 19 recite scriptures 20. chant softly 21. chant congregationally 22. smell the incense 23.smell the flower garland 24. smell the scents offered to the Lord 25. eat the remnants of  food offered to the Deity 26. attend arati  27.attend festivals 28. see the Deity 29. present what is very dear to oneself to the Deity 30. meditate on the Lord 31.serve the objects used in Krsna' s pastimes 32. serve tulasi 33.serve vaisnavas 34 serve Mathura 35. serve the Bhagavatam  36.One should perform all endeavors for Krsna 37. One should look forward to His mercy 38. One should partake of various festivals 39 associate with devotees  40. One should surrender to krsna in all respects 41.One should observe particular vows like kartika vrata. 42. bathing during magha  43. vaisakha krtya
One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Srimad Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the deity with faith and veneration.  These  five limbs of devotional service are the best of all. Even a  slight performance of these five awakens love for Krsna.
Amongst all the sixty four types of devotional service, the nine processes beginning with hearing are the chief, and all others are their assistants.  The first ten items act as the entrance door to bhakti.   The second ten items are acceptance of favorable actions and rejection of unfavorable actions.   Such things as respecting the dhatri tree, asvattha tree, the cow, and brahmana are necessary for social stability, but as well, they are favorable for the first stages of devotional service.  As sadhana bhakti becomes mature, the last five items  become prominent.
In the practice of bhakti, there is a secret.  Spiritual realization, devotion and detachment from everything material--- these three increase equally with progress.   Where the opposite tendencies become apparent, one should understand and that there is fault at the very root of  the practice of bhakti. 10 There will be inevitable fall down except for the mercy of guru and the association of devotees.

The Lord has said:

        When one is firmly fixed in devotional service, whether he executes one or many processes of devotional service, the waves of love of Godhead will awaken.
                            C.C.Madhya 22.134

For practicing single items of bhakti, Pariksit is famous for hearing; Sukadeva is famous for chanting; Prahlada is famous for remembering; Laksmi is famous for serving the lotus feet; Prthu is famous for arcana; Akrura is famous for offering prayers; Hanuman is famous as a servant; Arjuna is famous as friend; and Bali is famous for surrendering his soul.  Ambarisa is famous for performing many items.

As long as material desire is present in the heart, a person performing sadhana bhakti should follow the injunctions of varnasrama.  But one who gives up material desires and practices sadhana bhakti according to the injunctions is free from the obligations of serving varnasrama rules. 11

        If a person gives up all material desires sand completely engages in the transcendental loving service of Krsna, as enjoined in revealed scriptures, he is never indebted  to demigods, sages or forefathers.
                                C.C.Madhya 22.140
When a person attains the stage of desireless practice, he can give up dependence on the rules, and not be tempted by prohibited actions: it is not possible for the pure devotee to commit sinful actions.  If by inadvertence he commits a sinful activity, atonement according to the karma khanda is not necessary.12

Some people think that one must cultivate knowledge and detachment for progress in devotion, but this is mistaken.  The Lord has said,

        The path of speculative knowledge and renunciation is not very essential for devotional service.  Indeed, good equalities such as nonviolence and mind and sense control automatically accompany a devotee of Lord Krsna.
                                C.C.Madhya 22.145
Bhakti is an independent process.  Knowledge and detachment are activities which only serve devotion at a distance. 13 Nonviolence, sense control,  and other scriptural activities are the natural associates of bhakti.  But it is not necessary to cultivate any of these independently of bhakti.

        My dear Sanatana, I have now in detail described devotional service according to the regulative principles.  Now hear from Me about spontaneous devotional service and its characteristics.  The original inhabitants of Vrndavana are attached to Krsnas spontaneously in devotional service.  Nothing can compare to such spontaneous devotional service, which is called ragatmika bhakti. When a devotee follows in the footsteps of the devotees of Vrndavana, his devotional service is called raganuga bhakti.  The primary characteristic of spontaneous love is deep attachment for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  Absorption in Him is a marginal characteristic.
        Thus devotional service which consists of raga is called ragatmika, spontaneous loving service.  If a devotee covets such a position, he is considered to be most fortunate.  If one follows in the footsteps of the inhabitants of Vrndavana out of such transcendental covetousness, he does not care for the injunctions or reasoning of sastra.  That is nature of raganuga.

        There are two processes by which one may execute this raganuga bhakti--external and internal.  When self-realized, the advanced devotee externally remains like  neophyte and executes all the sastric injunctions, especially hearing and chanting.  However, within his mind, in his original purified self-realized position, he serves Krsna in Vrndavana in his particular way.  He serves Krsna twenty-four hours, all day and night.
        Actually the inhabitants of Vrndavana are very dear to Krsna. If one wants to engage in spontaneous loving service, he must follow the inhabitants  of Vrndavana and constantly engage in devotional service within his mind.   Krsna has many types of devotees--some are servants, some are friends, some are parents, and some are conjugal lovers.  Those who are situated in one of these attitudes of spontaneous love according to their choice , are considered to be on the path of spontaneous loving service.
        If one engages in spontaneous loving service to the Lord, his affection (priti) at the lotus feet of Krsna gradually increases.  In the seed of affection, there is attachment which goes by two names-rati and bhava.  The Supreme Personality of Godhead comes under the control of such attachment.
                            C.C.Madhya 22.148-165

After showing the difference between vaidhi and raganuga sadhana bhakti, the Lord concluded his discussion of sadhana. In the fourth section will be found a discussion of raganuga.

Some unknowledgeable people think that sadhana bhakti is not necessary.  Some prefer varnasrama and others prefer  to relish prema.  But from seeing the instructions concerning bhakti, a gradual process is recommended and fruitful.  First a person should attain steadiness  in good conduct by practicing varnasrama.  Then he must progress to vaidhi bhakti. Finally, with prema, he reaches perfection.14   According to the amount of qualification of  the individual, this form of advancement may slightly change .

Some people think that if this process is followed, civilized life and maintenance will disintegrate.   However it is simply a cheating notion to think  that the goal of life is for farmers, clerks, and brahmanas to elevate   themselves gradually to higher positions in varna and asrama.15   Such a conception of occupational duties is in terms of material advancement alone, which cannot produce any progress for the soul. 

Mahaprabhu has  given instructions for surpassing such  material conceptions of life and easily attaining pure spiritual life.   Practice of varnasrama is for the maintenance of the body.  Practice of yoga is for advancement of  the mind.  Sadhana bhakti is for advancement of the soul. Though the devotee may not be expert at farming,  fighting, or any material occupation, he is expert in terms of the real life of the human being.  A king's minister may not be able to  fire the gun expertly, but he  can still act as the advisor for the soldiers and make expert arrangements for the war.   Those who can see the elevated position of the devotees is actually intelligent, and can obtain the mercy of the Lord. 16 
1 When the soul is under the spell of material nature and false ego, identifying his body as the self, he becomes absorbed in material activities, and by the influence of false ego he thinks that he is the proprietor of everything.  The conditioned soul therefore transmigrates  into different species of life, higher and lower, because of this association with the modes of material nature.  Unless he is relieved of material activities, he has to accept this position because of his faulty work. S.B.3.27.2-3
2 With steady intelligence you should develop unalloyed devotional service by careful worship of the spiritual master, and with the sharpened ax of transcendental knowledge you should cut off the subtle material covering of the soul.  Upon realizing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you should then give up that ax of analytic knowledge. S.B.11.12.24
3 One who desires some material benefit in exchange for devotional service cannot be your pure devotee. Indeed, he is no better than a merchant who wants profit in exchange for service. S.B.7.10.4
4 My dear friends, O sons of the demons, you cannot please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by becoming perfect brahmanas, demigods or great saints or by becoming perfectly good in etiquette or vast learning.  None of these qualifications can awaken the pleasure of the Lord.  Not by charity, austerity, sacrifice, cleanliness or vows can one satisfy the Lord.  The Lord is pleased only if one has unflinching, unalloyed devotion to Him.  Without sincere devotional service, everything is simply a show. S.B.7.7.51-52
5  Devotional service unto Lord Krsna is attained by charity, strict vows, austerities and fire sacrifices, by japa,  study of Vedic texts, observance of regulative principles and indeed, by the performance of many other auspicious practices. S.B.10.47.24
6 If any of the members of the four varnas and four asramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they will fall down from their position into a hellish state of life. S.B.11.5.3
7 Ritualistic ceremonies, regulative principles, austerities and the practice of yoga are all meant to control the senses and mind, but even after one is able to control the sense and mind, if he does not come to the point of meditation upon the Supreme Lord, all such activities are simply labor in frustration.  S.B.7.15.28
8 Hearing, chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him--these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krsna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge. S.B.7.5.23-24
9 It is firmly declared that the steady adherence of transcendentalists to their respective spiritual positions constitutes real piety and that sin occurs when a transcendentalist neglects his prescribed duty.  One who adopts this standard of piety and sin, sincerely desiring to give up all past association with sense gratification, is able to subdue materialistic activities, which are by nature impure.  S.B.11.20.26
10 Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things--these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way that pleasure, nourishment and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating. S.B.11.2.42
11 O King, one who has given up all material duties and has taken full shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, who offers shelter to all, is not indebted to the demigods, great sages, ordinary  living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one's forefathers who have passed away. Since all such classes of living entities are put and parcel of the Supreme Lord, one who has surrendered to the Lord's service has no need to serve such persons separately.  S.B.11.5.41
12 One who has thus given up all other engagements and has taken full shelter at the lotus feet of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is very dear to the Lord.  Indeed, if such a surrendered soul accidentally commits some sinful activity, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is seated within everyone's heart, immediately takes away the reaction to such sin.  S.B.11.5.42
13 Therefore, for a devotee engaged in my loving service, with mind fixed on Me, the cultivation of knowledge and renunciation is generally not the means of achieving the highest perfection within this world. S.B.11.20.31.
14 In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart.  By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed,  then real devotion and devotional service begin. S.B.3.25.25

15 Because of their uncontrolled senses, person too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions, and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed.  Their inclinations toward Krsna are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts or by a combination of both. S.B.7.5.30

16 When a person is fully engaged in devotional service, he is favored by Lord, who bestows His causeless mercy.  At such a time, the awakened devotee gives up all material activities and ritualistic performances mentioned in the Vedas. S.B.4.29.46

Those who are interested in reviving Krsna consciousness and increasing their love of Godhead do not like to do anything that is not related  to Krsna.  They are not interested in mingling with people who are busy maintaining their bodies, eating, sleeping, mating and defending.  They are not attached to their homes, although they may be householders.  Nor are they attached to wives,  children, friends or wealth.  At the same time, they are not indifferent to the execution of their duties.  Such people are interested in collecting only enough money to keep the body and soul together. S.B.5.5.3