Explanation of Devotional Service by Lord Kapila
prakrteh purusasya ca
svarupam laksyate 'misam
yatha sankhyesu kathitam
yan-mulam tat pracaksate
bhakti-yogasya me margam
bruhi vistarasah prabho
devahutih uvaca--Devahuti said; laksanam--symptoms; mahat-adinam--of the mahat-tattva and so on; prakrteh--of material nature; purusasya--of the spirit; ca--and; svarupam--the nature; laksyate--is described; amisam--of those; yena--by which; tat-parama-arthikam--the true nature of them; yatha--as; sankhyesu--in Sankhya philosophy; kathitam--is explained; yat--of which; mulam--ultimate end; tat--that; pracaksate--they call; bhakti-yogasya--of devotional service; me--to me; margam--the path; bruhi--please explain; vistarasah--at length; prabho--my dear Lord Kapila.
Devahuti inquired: My dear Lord, You have already very scientifically described the symptoms of the total material nature and the characteristics of the spirit according to the Sankhya system of philosophy. Now I shall request You to explain the path of devotional service, which is the ultimate end of all philosophical systems.
In this Twenty-ninth Chapter, the glories of devotional service are elaborately explained, and the influence of time on the conditioned soul is also described. The purpose of elaborately describing the influence of time is to detach the conditioned soul from his material activities, which are considered to be simply a waste of time. In the previous chapter, material nature, the spirit and the Supreme Lord, or Supersoul, are analytically studied, and in this chapter the principles of bhakti-yoga, or devotional service--the execution of activities in the eternal relationship between the living entities and the Personality of Godhead--are explained.
Bhakti-yoga, devotional service, is the basic principle of all systems of philosophy; all philosophy which does not aim for devotional service to the Lord is considered merely mental speculation. But of course bhakti-yoga with no philosophical basis is more or less sentiment. There are two classes of men. Some consider themselves intellectually advanced and simply speculate and meditate, and others are sentimental and have no philosophical basis for their propositions. Neither of these can achieve the highest goal of life--or, if they do, it will take them many, many years. Vedic literature therefore suggests that there are three elements--namely the Supreme Lord, the living entity and their eternal relationship--and the goal of life is to follow the principles of bhakti, or devotional service, and ultimately attain to the planet of the Supreme Lord in full devotion and love as an eternal servitor of the Lord.
Sankhya philosophy is the analytical study of all existence. One has to understand everything by examining its nature and characteristics. This is called acquirement of knowledge. But one should not simply acquire knowledge without reaching the goal of life or the basic principle for acquiring knowledge--bhakti-yoga. If we give up bhakti-yoga and simply busy ourselves in the analytical study of the nature of things as they are, then the result will be practically nil. It is stated in the Bhagavatam that such engagement is something like husking a paddy. There is no use beating the husk if the grain has already been removed. By the scientific study of material nature, the living entity and the Supersoul, one has to understand the basic principle of devotional service to the Lord.
virago yena puruso
bhagavan sarvato bhavet
vividha mama samsrtih
viragah--detached; yena--by which; purusah--a person; bhagavan--my dear Lord; sarvatah--completely; bhavet--may become; acaksva--please describe; jiva-lokasya--for the people in general; vividhah--manifold; mama--for myself; samsrtih--repetition of birth and death.
Devahuti continued: My dear Lord, please also describe in detail, both for me and for people in general, the continual process of birth and death, for by hearing of such calamities we may become detached from the activities of this material world.
In this verse the word samsrtih is very important. Sreyah-srti means the prosperous path of advancement towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and samsrti means the continued journey on the path of birth and death towards the darkest region of material existence. People who have no knowledge of this material world, God and their actual intimate relationship with Him are actually going to the darkest region of material existence in the name of progress in the material advancement of civilization. To enter the darkest region of material existence means to enter into a species of life other than the human species. Ignorant men do not know that after this life they are completely under the grip of material nature and will be offered a life which may not be very congenial. How a living entity gets different kinds of bodies will be explained in the next chapter. This continual change of bodies in birth and death is called samsara. Devahuti requests her glorious son, Kapila Muni, to explain about this continued journey to impress upon the conditioned souls that they are undergoing a path of degradation by not understanding the path of bhakti-yoga, devotional service.
paresam ca parasya te
svarupam bata kurvanti
yad-dhetoh kusalam janah
kalasya--of time; isvara-rupasya--a representation of the Lord; paresam--of all others; ca--and; parasya--the chief; te--of You; svarupam--the nature; bata--oh; kurvanti--perform; yat-hetoh--by whose influence; kusalam--pious activities; janah--people in general.
Please also describe eternal time, which is a representation of Your form and by whose influence people in general engage in the performance of pious activities.
However ignorant one may be regarding the path of good fortune and the path down to the darkest region of ignorance, everyone is aware of the influence of eternal time, which devours all the effects of our material activities. The body is born at a certain time, and immediately the influence of time acts upon it. From the date of the birth of the body, the influence of death is also acting; the advancement of age entails the influence of time on the body. If a man is thirty or fifty years old, then the influence of time has already devoured thirty or fifty years of the duration of his life.
Everyone is conscious of the last stage of life, when he will meet the cruel hands of death, but some consider their age and circumstances, concern themselves with the influence of time and thus engage in pious activities so that in the future they will not be put into a low family or an animal species. Generally, people are attached to sense enjoyment and so aspire for life on the heavenly planets. Therefore, they engage themselves in charitable or other pious activities, but actually, as stated in Bhagavad-gita, one cannot get relief from the chain of birth and death even if he goes to the highest planet, Brahmaloka, because the influence of time is present everywhere within this material world. In the spiritual world, however, the time factor has no influence.
lokasya mithyabhimater acaksusas
ciram prasuptasya tamasy anasraye
srantasya karmasv anuviddhaya dhiya
tvam avirasih kila yoga-bhaskarah
lokasya--of the living entities; mithya-abhimateh--deluded by false ego; acaksusah--blind; ciram--for a very long time; prasuptasya--sleeping; tamasi--in darkness; anasraye--without shelter; srantasya--fatigued; karmasu--to material activities; anuviddhaya--attached; dhiya--with the intelligence; tvam--You; avirasih--have appeared; kila--indeed; yoga--of the yoga system; bhaskarah--the sun.
My dear Lord, You are just like the sun, for You illuminate the darkness of the conditional life of the living entities. Because their eyes of knowledge are not open, they are sleeping eternally in that darkness without Your shelter, and therefore they are falsely engaged by the actions and reactions of their material activities, and they appear to be very fatigued.
It appears that Srimati Devahuti, the glorious mother of Lord Kapiladeva, is very compassionate for the regrettable condition of people in general, who, not knowing the goal of life, are sleeping in the darkness of illusion. It is the general feeling of the Vaisnava, or devotee of the Lord, that he should awaken them. Similarly, Devahuti is requesting her glorious son to illuminate the lives of the conditioned souls so that their most regrettable conditional life may be ended. The Lord is described herein as yoga-bhaskara, the sun of the system of all yoga. Devahuti has already requested her glorious son to describe bhakti-yoga, and the Lord has described bhakti-yoga as the ultimate yoga system.
Bhakti-yoga is the sunlike illumination for delivering the conditioned souls, whose general condition is described here. They have no eyes to see their own interests. They do not know that the goal of life is not to increase the material necessities of existence, because the body will not exist more than a few years. The living beings are eternal, and they have their eternal need. If one engages only in caring for the necessities of the body, not caring for the eternal necessities of life, then he is part of a civilization whose advancement puts the living entities in the darkest region of ignorance. Sleeping in that darkest region, one does not get any refreshment, but, rather, gradually becomes fatigued. He invents many processes to adjust this fatigued condition, but he fails and thus remains confused. The only path for mitigating his fatigue in the struggle for existence is the path of devotional service, or the path of Krsna consciousness.
iti matur vacah slaksnam
pritas tam karunarditah
maitreyah uvaca--Maitreya said; iti--thus; matuh--of His mother; vacah--the words; slaksnam--gentle; pratinandya--welcoming; maha-munih--the great sage Kapila; ababhase--spoke; kuru-srestha--O best among the Kurus, Vidura; pritah--pleased; tam--to her; karuna--with compassion; arditah--moved.
Sri Maitreya said: O best amongst the Kurus, the great sage Kapila, moved by great compassion and pleased by the words of His glorious mother, spoke as follows.
Lord Kapila was very satisfied by the request of His glorious mother because she was thinking not only in terms of her personal salvation but in terms of all the fallen conditioned souls. The Lord is always compassionate towards the fallen souls of this material world, and therefore He comes Himself or sends His confidential servants to deliver them. Since He is perpetually compassionate towards them, if some of His devotees also become compassionate towards them, He is very pleased with the devotees. In Bhagavad-gita it is clearly stated that persons who are trying to elevate the condition of the fallen souls by preaching the conclusion of Bhagavad-gita--namely, full surrender unto the Personality of Godhead--are very dear to Him. Thus when the Lord saw that His beloved mother was very compassionate towards the fallen souls, He was pleased, and He also became compassionate towards her.
margair bhamini bhavyate
pumsam bhavo vibhidyate
sri-bhagavan uvaca--the Personality of Godhead replied; bhakti-yogah--devotional service; bahu-vidhah--multifarious; margaih--with paths; bhamini--O noble lady; bhavyate--is manifest; svabhava--nature; guna--qualities; margena--in terms of behavior; pumsam--of the executors; bhavah--the appearance; vibhidyate--is divided.
Lord Kapila, the Personality of Godhead, replied: O noble lady, there are multifarious paths of devotional service in terms of the different qualities of the executor.
Pure devotional service in Krsna consciousness is one because in pure devotional service there is no demand from the devotee to be fulfilled by the Lord. But generally people take to devotional service with a purpose. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, people who are not purified take to devotional service with four purposes. A person who is distressed because of material conditions becomes a devotee of the Lord and approaches the Lord for mitigation of his distress. A person in need of money approaches the Lord to ask for some improvement in his monetary condition. Others, who are not in distress or in need of monetary assistance but are seeking knowledge in order to understand the Absolute Truth, also take to devotional service, and they inquire into the nature of the Supreme Lord. This is very nicely described in Bhagavad-gita (7.16). Actually the path of devotional service is one without a second, but according to the devotees' condition, devotional service appears in multifarious varieties, as will be nicely explained in the following verses.
abhisandhaya yo himsam
dambham matsaryam eva va
samrambhi bhinna-drg bhavam
mayi kuryat sa tamasah
abhisandhaya--having in view; yah--he who; himsam--violence; dambham--pride; matsaryam--envy; eva--indeed; va--or; samrambhi--angry; bhinna--separate; drk--whose vision; bhavam--devotional service; mayi--to Me; kuryat--may do; sah--he; tamasah--in the mode of ignorance.
Devotional service executed by a person who is envious, proud, violent and angry, and who is a separatist, is considered to be in the mode of darkness.
It has already been stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Second Chapter, that the highest, most glorious religion is the attainment of causeless, unmotivated devotional service. In pure devotional service, the only motive should be to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is not actually a motive; that is the pure condition of the living entity. In the conditioned stage, when one engages in devotional service, he should follow the instruction of the bona fide spiritual master in full surrender. The spiritual master is the manifested representation of the Supreme Lord because he receives and presents the instructions of the Lord, as they are, by disciplic succession. It is described in Bhagavad-gita that the teachings therein should be received by disciplic succession, otherwise there is adulteration. To act under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master with a motive to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pure devotional service. But if one has a motive for personal sense gratification, his devotional service is manifested differently. Such a man may be violent, proud, envious and angry, and his interests are separate from the Lord's.
One who approaches the Supreme Lord to render devotional service, but who is proud of his personality, envious of others or vengeful, is in the mode of anger. He thinks that he is the best devotee. Devotional service executed in this way is not pure; it is mixed and is of the lowest grade, tamasah. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura advises that a Vaisnava who is not of good character should be avoided. A Vaisnava is one who has taken the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the ultimate goal of life, but if one is not pure and still has motives, then he is not a Vaisnava of the first order of good character. One may offer his respects to such a Vaisnava because he has accepted the Supreme Lord as the ultimate goal of life, but one should not keep company with a Vaisnava who is in the mode of ignorance.
yasa aisvaryam eva va
arcadav arcayed yo mam
prthag-bhavah sa rajasah
visayan--sense objects; abhisandhaya--aiming at; yasah--fame; aisvaryam--opulence; eva--indeed; va--or; arca-adau--in worship of the Deity and so on; arcayet--may worship; yah--he who; mam--Me; prthak-bhavah--a separatist; sah--he; rajasah--in the mode of passion.
The worship of Deities in the temple by a separatist, with a motive for material enjoyment, fame and opulence, is devotion in the mode of passion.
The word "separatist" must be understood carefully. The Sanskrit words in this connection are bhinna-drk and prthag-bhavah. A separatist is one who sees his interest as separate from that of the Supreme Lord. Mixed devotees, or devotees in the modes of passion and ignorance, think that the interest of the Supreme Lord is supplying the orders of the devotee; the interest of such devotees is to draw from the Lord as much as possible for their sense gratification. This is the separatist mentality. Actually, pure devotion is explained in the previous chapter: the mind of the Supreme Lord and the mind of the devotee should be dovetailed. A devotee should not wish anything but to execute the desire of the Supreme. That is oneness. When the devotee has an interest or will different from the interest of the Supreme Lord, his mentality is that of a separatist. When the so-called devotee desires material enjoyment, without reference to the interest of the Supreme Lord, or he wants to become famous or opulent by utilizing the mercy or grace of the Supreme Lord, he is in the mode of passion.
Mayavadis, however, interpret this word "separatist" in a different way. They say that while worshiping the Lord, one should think himself one with the Supreme Lord. This is another adulterated form of devotion within the modes of material nature. The conception that the living entity is one with the Supreme is in the mode of ignorance. Oneness is actually based on oneness of interest. A pure devotee has no interest but to act on behalf of the Supreme Lord. When one has even a tinge of personal interest, his devotion is mixed with the three modes of material nature.
parasmin va tad-arpanam
yajed yastavyam iti va
prthag-bhavah sa sattvikah
karma--fruitive activities; nirharam--freeing himself from; uddisya--with the purpose of; parasmin--to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; va--or; tat-arpanam--offering the result of activities; yajet--may worship; yastavyam--to be worshiped; iti--thus; va--or; prthak-bhavah--separatist; sah--he; sattvikah--in the mode of goodness.
When a devotee worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead and offers the results of his activities in order to free himself from the inebrieties of fruitive activities, his devotion is in the mode of goodness.
The brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, along with the brahmacaris, grhasthas, vanaprasthas and sannyasis, are the members of the eight divisions of varnas and asramas, and they have their respective duties to perform for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When such activities are performed and the results are offered to the Supreme Lord, they are called karmarpanam, duties performed for the satisfaction of the Lord. If there is any inebriety or fault, it is atoned for by this offering process. But if this offering process is in the mode of goodness rather than in pure devotion, then the interest is different. The four asramas and the four varnas act for some benefit in accordance with their personal interests. Therefore such activities are in the mode of goodness; they cannot be counted in the category of pure devotion. Pure devotional service as described by Rupa Gosvami is free from all material desires. Anyabhilasita-sunyam. There can be no excuse for personal or material interest. Devotional activities should be transcendental to fruitive activities and empiric philosophical speculation. Pure devotional service is transcendental to all material qualities.
Devotional service in the modes of ignorance, passion and goodness can be divided into eighty-one categories. There are different devotional activities, such as hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, offering prayer, rendering service and surrendering everything, and each of them can be divided into three qualitative categories. There is hearing in the mode of passion, in the mode of ignorance and in the mode of goodness. Similarly, there is chanting in the mode of ignorance, passion and goodness, etc. Three multiplied by nine equals twenty-seven, and when again multiplied by three it becomes eighty-one. One has to transcend all such mixed materialistic devotional service in order to reach the standard of pure devotional service, as explained in the next verses.
yatha gangambhaso 'mbudhau
nirgunasya hy udahrtam
ya bhaktih purusottame
mat--of Me; guna--qualities; sruti--by hearing; matrena--just; mayi--towards Me; sarva-guha-asaye--residing in everyone's heart; manah-gatih--the heart's course; avicchinna--continuous; yatha--as; ganga--of the Ganges; ambhasah--of the water; ambudhau--towards the ocean; laksanam--the manifestation; bhakti-yogasya--of devotional service; nirgunasya--unadulterated; hi--indeed; udahrtam--exhibited; ahaituki--causeless; avyavahita--not separated; ya--which; bhaktih--devotional service; purusa-uttame--towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The manifestation of unadulterated devotional service is exhibited when one's mind is at once attracted to hearing the transcendental name and qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is residing in everyone's heart. Just as the water of the Ganges flows naturally down towards the ocean, such devotional ecstasy, uninterrupted by any material condition, flows towards the Supreme Lord.
The basic principle of this unadulterated, pure devotional service is love of Godhead. Mad-guna-sruti-matrena means "just after hearing about the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." These qualities are called nirguna. The Supreme Lord is uncontaminated by the modes of material nature; therefore He is attractive to the pure devotee. There is no need to practice meditation to attain such attraction; the pure devotee is already in the transcendental stage, and the affinity between him and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is natural and is compared to the Ganges water flowing towards the sea. The flow of the Ganges water cannot be stopped by any condition; similarly, a pure devotee's attraction for the transcendental name, form and pastimes of the Supreme Godhead cannot be stopped by any material condition. The word avicchinna, "without interruptions," is very important in this connection. No material condition can stop the flow of the devotional service of a pure devotee.
The word ahaituki means "without reason." A pure devotee does not render loving service to the Personality of Godhead for any cause or for any benefit, material or spiritual. This is the first symptom of unalloyed devotion. Anyabhilasita-sunyam: he has no desire to fulfill by rendering devotional service. Such devotional service is meant for the purusottama, the Supreme Personality, and not for anyone else. Sometimes pseudodevotees show devotion to many demigods, thinking the forms of the demigods to be the same as the Supreme Personality of Godhead's form. It is specifically mentioned herein, however, that bhakti, devotional service, is meant only for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, Visnu, or Krsna, not for anyone else.
Avyavahita means "without cessation." A pure devotee must engage in the service of the Lord twenty-four hours a day, without cessation; his life is so molded that at every minute and every second he engages in some sort of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Another meaning of the word avyavahita is that the interest of the devotee and the interest of the Supreme Lord are on the same level. The devotee has no interest but to fulfill the transcendental desire of the Supreme Lord. Such spontaneous service unto the Supreme Lord is transcendental and is never contaminated by the material modes of nature. These are the symptoms of pure devotional service, which is free from all contamination of material nature.
sarupyaikatvam apy uta
diyamanam na grhnanti
vina mat-sevanam janah
salokya--living on the same planet; sarsti--having the same opulence; samipya--to be a personal associate; sarupya--having the same bodily features; ekatvam--oneness; api--also; uta--even; diyamanam--being offered; na--not; grhnanti--do accept; vina--without; mat--My; sevanam--devotional service; janah--pure devotees.
A pure devotee does not accept any kind of liberation--salokya, sarsti, samipya, sarupya or ekatva--even though they are offered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Lord Caitanya teaches us how to execute pure devotional service out of spontaneous love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Siksastaka, He prays to the Lord: "O Lord, I do not wish to gain from You any wealth, nor do I wish to have a beautiful wife, nor do I wish to have many followers. All I want from You is that in life after life I may remain a pure devotee at Your lotus feet." There is a similarity between the prayers of Lord Caitanya and the statements of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Lord Caitanya prays, "in life after life," indicating that a devotee does not even desire the cessation of birth and death. The yogis and empiric philosophers desire cessation of the process of birth and death, but a devotee is satisfied to remain even in this material world and execute devotional service.
It is clearly stated herein that a pure devotee does not desire ekatva, oneness with the Supreme Lord, as desired by the impersonalists, the mental speculators and the meditators. To become one with the Supreme Lord is beyond the dream of a pure devotee. Sometimes he may accept promotion to the Vaikuntha planets to serve the Lord there, but he will never accept merging into the Brahman effulgence, which he considers worse than hellish. Such ekatva, or merging into the effulgence of the Supreme Lord, is called kaivalya, but the happiness derived from kaivalya is considered by the pure devotee to be hellish. The devotee is so fond of rendering service to the Supreme Lord that the five kinds of liberation are not important to him. If one is engaged in pure transcendental loving service to the Lord, it is understood that he has already achieved the five kinds of liberation.
When a devotee is promoted to the spiritual world, Vaikuntha, he receives four kinds of facilities. One of these is salokya, living on the same planet as the Supreme Personality. The Supreme Person, in His different plenary expansions, lives on innumerable Vaikuntha planets, and the chief planet is Krsnaloka. Just as within the material universe the chief planet is the sun, in the spiritual world the chief planet is Krsnaloka. From Krsnaloka, the bodily effulgence of Lord Krsna is distributed not only to the spiritual world but to the material world as well; it is covered by matter, however, in the material world. In the spiritual world there are innumerable Vaikuntha planets, and on each one the Lord is the predominating Deity. A devotee can be promoted to one such Vaikuntha planet to live with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In sarsti liberation the opulence of the devotee is equal to the opulence of the Supreme Lord. Samipya means to be a personal associate of the Supreme Lord. In sarupya liberation the bodily features of the devotee are exactly like those of the Supreme Person but for two or three symptoms found exclusively on the transcendental body of the Lord. Srivatsa, for example, the hair on the chest of the Lord, particularly distinguishes Him from His devotees.
A pure devotee does not accept these five kinds of spiritual existence, even if they are offered, and he certainly does not hanker after material benefits, which are all insignificant in comparison with spiritual benefits. When Prahlada Maharaja was offered some material benefit, he stated: "My Lord, I have seen that my father achieved all kinds of material benefits, and even the demigods were afraid of his opulence, but still, in a second, You have finished his life and all his material prosperity." For a devotee there is no question of desiring any material or spiritual prosperity. He simply aspires to serve the Lord. That is his highest happiness.
sa eva bhakti-yogakhya
sah--this; eva--indeed; bhakti-yoga--devotional service; akhyah--called; atyantikah--the highest platform; udahrtah--explained; yena--by which; ativrajya--overcoming; tri-gunam--the three modes of material nature; mat-bhavaya--to My transcendental stage; upapadyate--one attains.
By attaining the highest platform of devotional service, as I have explained, one can overcome the influence of the three modes of material nature and be situated in the transcendental stage, as is the Lord.
Sripada Sankaracarya, who is supposed to be the leader of the impersonalist school of philosophers, has admitted in the beginning of his comments on Bhagavad-gita that Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is beyond the material creation; except for Him, everything is within the material creation. It is also confirmed in the Vedic literature that before the creation there was only Narayana; neither Lord Brahma nor Lord Siva existed. Only Narayana, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, or Krsna, is always in the transcendental position, beyond the influence of material creation.
The material qualities of goodness, passion and ignorance cannot affect the position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore He is called nirguna (free from all tinges of material qualities). Here the same fact is confirmed by Lord Kapila: one who is situated in pure devotional service is transcendentally situated, as is the Lord. Just as the Lord is unaffected by the influence of the material modes, so too are His pure devotees. One who is not affected by the three modes of material nature is called a liberated soul, or brahma-bhuta soul. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma is the stage of liberation. Aham brahmasmi: "I am not this body." This is applicable only to the person who constantly engages in the devotional service of Krsna and is thus in the transcendental stage; he is above the influence of the three modes of material nature.
It is the misconception of the impersonalists that one can worship any imaginary form of the Lord, or Brahman, and at the end merge in the Brahman effulgence. Of course, to merge into the bodily effulgence (Brahman) of the Supreme Lord is also liberation, as explained in the previous verse. Ekatva is also liberation, but that sort of liberation is never accepted by any devotee, for qualitative oneness is immediately attained as soon as one is situated in devotional service. For a devotee, that qualitative equality, which is the result of impersonal liberation, is already attained; he does not have to try for it separately. It is clearly stated here that simply by pure devotional service one becomes qualitatively as good as the Lord Himself.
nisevitena--executed; animittena--without attachment to the result; sva-dharmena--by one's prescribed duties; mahiyasa--glorious; kriya-yogena--by devotional activities; sastena--auspicious; na--without; atihimsrena--excessive violence; nityasah--regularly.
A devotee must execute his prescribed duties, which are glorious, without material profit. Without excessive violence, one should regularly perform one's devotional activities.
One has to execute his prescribed duties according to his social position as a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra. The prescribed duties of the four classes of men in human society are also described in Bhagavad-gita. The activities of brahmanas are to control the senses and to become simple, clean, learned devotees. The ksatriyas have the spirit for ruling, they are not afraid on the battlefield, and they are charitable. The vaisyas, or the mercantile class of men, trade in commodities, protect cows and develop agricultural produce. The sudras, or laborer class, serve the higher classes because they themselves are not very intelligent.
From every position, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, sva-karmana tam abhyarcya: one can serve the Supreme Lord by performing one's prescribed duty. It is not that only the brahmanas can serve the Supreme Lord and not the sudras. Anyone can serve the Supreme Lord by performing his prescribed duties under the direction of a spiritual master, or representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one should think that his prescribed duties are inferior. A brahmana can serve the Lord by using his intelligence, and the ksatriya can serve the Supreme Lord by using his military arts, just as Arjuna served Krsna. Arjuna was a warrior; he had no time to study Vedanta or other highly intellectual books. The damsels in Vrajadhama were girls born of the vaisya class, and they engaged in protecting cows and producing agriculture. Krsna's foster father, Nanda Maharaja, and his associates were all vaisyas. They were not at all educated, but they could serve Krsna by loving Him and by offering everything to Him. Similarly, there are many instances in which candalas, or those lower than sudras, have served Krsna. Also, the sage Vidura was considered a sudra because his mother happened to be sudra. There are no distinctions, for it is declared by the Lord in Bhagavad-gita that anyone engaged specifically in devotional service is elevated to the transcendental position without a doubt. Everyone's prescribed duty is glorious if it is performed in devotional service of the Lord, without desire for profit. Such loving service must be performed without reason, without impediment, and spontaneously. Krsna is lovable, and one has to serve Him in whatever capacity one can. That is pure devotional service.
Another significant phrase in this verse is natihimsrena ("with minimum violence or sacrifice of life"). Even if a devotee has to commit violence, it should not be done beyond what is necessary. Sometimes the question is put before us: "You ask us not to eat meat, but you are eating vegetables. Do you think that is not violence?" The answer is that eating vegetables is violence, and vegetarians are also committing violence against other living entities because vegetables also have life. Nondevotees are killing cows, goats and so many other animals for eating purposes, and a devotee, who is vegetarian, is also killing. But here, significantly, it is stated that every living entity has to live by killing another entity; that is the law of nature. Jivo jivasya jivanam: one living entity is the life for another living entity. But for a human being, that violence should be committed only as much as necessary.
A human being is not to eat anything which is not offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yajna-sistasinah santah: one becomes freed from all sinful reactions by eating foodstuffs which are offered to Yajna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A devotee therefore eats only prasada, or foodstuffs offered to the Supreme Lord, and Krsna says that when a devotee offers Him foodstuffs from the vegetable kingdom, with devotion, He eats that. A devotee is to offer to Krsna foodstuffs prepared from vegetables. If the Supreme Lord wanted foodstuffs prepared from animal food, the devotee could offer this, but He does not order to do that.
We have to commit violence; that is a natural law. We should not, however, commit violence extravagantly, but only as much as ordered by the Lord. Arjuna engaged in the art of killing, and although killing is, of course, violence, he killed the enemy simply on Krsna's order. In the same way, if we commit violence as it is necessary, by the order of the Lord, that is called natihimsa. We cannot avoid violence, for we are put into a conditional life in which we have to commit violence, but we should not commit more violence than necessary or than ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
mat--My; dhisnya--statue; darsana--seeing; sparsa--touching; puja--worshiping; stuti--praying to; abhivandanaih--by offering obeisances; bhutesu--in all living entities; mat--of Me; bhavanaya--with thought; sattvena--by the mode of goodness; asangamena--with detachment; ca--and.
The devotee should regularly see My statues in the temple, touch My lotus feet and offer worshipable paraphernalia and prayer. He should see in the spirit of renunciation, from the mode of goodness, and see every living entity as spiritual.
Temple worship is one of the duties of a devotee. It is especially recommended for neophytes, but those who are advanced should not refrain from temple worship. There is a distinction in the manner a neophyte and an advanced devotee appreciate the Lord's presence in the temple. A neophyte considers the arca-vigraha (the statue of the Lord) to be different from the original Personality of Godhead; he considers it a representation of the Supreme Lord in the form of a Deity. But an advanced devotee accepts the Deity in the temple as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He does not see any difference between the original form of the Lord and the statue, or arca form of the Lord, in the temple. This is the vision of a devotee whose devotional service is in the highest stage of bhava, or love of Godhead, whereas a neophyte's worship in the temple is a matter of routine duty.
Temple Deity worship is one of the functions of a devotee. He goes regularly to see the Deity nicely decorated, and with veneration and respect he touches the lotus feet of the Lord and presents offerings of worship, such as fruits, flowers and prayers. At the same time, to advance in devotional service, a devotee should see other living entities as spiritual sparks, parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. A devotee is to offer respect to every entity that has a relationship with the Lord. Because every living entity originally has a relationship with the Lord as part and parcel, a devotee should try to see all living entities on the same equal level of spiritual existence. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, a pandita, one who is learned, sees equally a very learned brahmana, a sudra, a hog, a dog and a cow. He does not see the body, which is only an outward dress. He does not see the dress of a brahmana, or that of a cow or of a hog. He sees the spiritual spark, part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. If a devotee does not see every living entity as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, he is considered prakrta-bhakta, a materialistic devotee. He is not completely situated on the spiritual platform; rather, he is in the lowest stage of devotion. He does, however, show all respect to the Deity.
Although a devotee sees all living entities on the level of spiritual existence, he is not interested in associating with everyone. Simply because a tiger is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord does not mean that we embrace him because of his spiritual relationship with the Supreme Lord. We must associate only with persons who have developed Krsna consciousness.
We should befriend and offer special respect to persons who are developed in Krsna consciousness. Other living entities are undoubtedly part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, but because their consciousness is still covered and not developed in Krsna consciousness, we should renounce their association. It is said by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura that even if one is a Vaisnava, if he is not of good character his company should be avoided, although he may be offered the respect of a Vaisnava. Anyone who accepts Visnu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is accepted as a Vaisnava, but a Vaisnava is expected to develop all the good qualities of the demigods.
The exact meaning of the word sattvena is given by Sridhara Svami as being synonymous with dhairyena, or patience. One must perform devotional service with great patience. One should not give up the execution of devotional service because one or two attempts have not been successful. One must continue. Sri Rupa Gosvami also confirms that one should be very enthusiastic and execute devotional service with patience and confidence. Patience is necessary for developing the confidence that "Krsna will certainly accept me because I am engaging in devotional service." One has only to execute service according to the rules and regulations to insure success.
yamena niyamena ca
mahatam--to the great souls; bahu-manena--with great respect; dinanam--to the poor; anukampaya--with compassion; maitrya--with friendship; ca--also; eva--certainly; atma-tulyesu--to persons who are equals; yamena--with control of the senses; niyamena--with regulation; ca--and.
The pure devotee should execute devotional service by giving the greatest respect to the spiritual master and the acaryas. He should be compassionate to the poor and make friendship with persons who are his equals, but all his activities should be executed under regulation and with control of the senses.
In Bhagavad-gita, Thirteenth Chapter, it is clearly stated that one should execute devotional service and advance on the path of spiritual knowledge by accepting the acarya. Acaryopasanam: one should worship an acarya, a spiritual master who knows things as they are. The spiritual master must be in the disciplic succession from Krsna. The predecessors of the spiritual master are his spiritual master, his grand spiritual master, his great-grand spiritual master and so on, who form the disciplic succession of acaryas.
It is recommended herewith that all the acaryas be given the highest respect. It is stated, gurusu nara-matih. Gurusu means "unto the acaryas," and nara-matih means "thinking like a common man." To think of the Vaisnavas, the devotees, as belonging to a particular caste or community, to think of the acaryas as ordinary men or to think of the Deity in the temple as being made of stone, wood or metal, is condemned. Niyamena: one should offer the greatest respect to the acaryas according to the standard regulations. A devotee should also be compassionate to the poor. This does not refer to those who are poverty-stricken materially. According to devotional vision, a man is poor if he is not in Krsna consciousness. A man may be very rich materially, but if he is not Krsna conscious, he is considered poor. On the other hand, many acaryas, such as Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami, used to live beneath trees every night. Superficially it appeared that they were poverty-stricken, but from their writings we can understand that in spiritual life they were the richest personalities.
A devotee shows compassion to those poor souls who are wanting in spiritual knowledge by enlightening them in order to elevate them to Krsna consciousness. That is one of the duties of a devotee. He should also make friendship with persons who are on an equal level with himself or who have the same understanding that he does. For a devotee, there is no point in making friendships with ordinary persons; he should make friendship with other devotees so that by discussing among themselves, they may elevate one another on the path of spiritual understanding. This is called ista-gosthi.
In Bhagavad-gita there is reference to bodhayantah parasparam, "discussing among themselves." Generally pure devotees utilize their valuable time in chanting and discussing various activities of Lord Krsna or Lord Caitanya amongst themselves. There are innumerable books, such as the puranas, Mahabharata, Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita and Upanisads, which contain countless subjects for discussion among two devotees or more. Friendship should be cemented between persons with mutual interests and understanding. Such persons are said to be sva jati, "of the same caste." The devotee should avoid a person whose character is not fixed in the standard understanding; even though he may be a Vaisnava, or a devotee of Krsna, if his character is not correctly representative, then he should be avoided. One should steadily control the senses and the mind and strictly follow the rules and regulations, and he should make friendship with persons of the same standard.
nama-sankirtanac ca me
adhyatmika--spiritual matters; anusravanat--from hearing; nama-sankirtanat--from chanting the holy name; ca--and; me--My; arjavena--with straightforward behavior; arya-sangena--with association of saintly persons; nirahankriyaya--without false ego; tatha--thus.
A devotee should always try to hear about spiritual matters and should always utilize his time in chanting the holy name of the Lord. His behavior should always be straightforward and simple, and although he is not envious but friendly to everyone, he should avoid the company of persons who are not spiritually advanced.
In order to advance in spiritual understanding, one has to hear from authentic sources about spiritual knowledge. One can understand the reality of spiritual life by following strict regulative principles and by controlling the senses. To have control it is necessary that one be nonviolent and truthful, refrain from stealing, abstain from sex life and possess only that which is absolutely necessary for keeping the body and soul together. One should not eat more than necessary, he should not collect more paraphernalia than necessary, he should not talk unnecessarily with common men, and he should not follow the rules and regulations without purpose. He should follow the rules and regulations so that he may actually make advancement.
There are eighteen qualifications mentioned in Bhagavad-gita, among which is simplicity. One should be without pride; one should not demand unnecessary respect from others, and one should be nonviolent. Amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa. One should be very tolerant and simple, one should accept the spiritual master, and one should control the senses. These are mentioned here and in Bhagavad-gita as well. One should hear from authentic sources how to advance in spiritual life; such instructions should be taken from the acarya and should be assimilated.
It is especially mentioned here, nama-sankirtanac ca: one should chant the holy names of the Lord--Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare--either individually or with others. Lord Caitanya has given special stress to chanting of these holy names of the Lord as the basic principle of spiritual advancement. Another word used here is arjavena, meaning "without diplomacy." A devotee should not make plans out of self-interest. Of course, preachers sometimes have to make some plan to execute the mission of the Lord under proper guidance, but regarding personal self-interest, a devotee should always be without diplomacy, and he should avoid the company of persons who are not advancing in spiritual life. Another word is arya. Aryans are persons who are advancing in knowledge of Krsna consciousness as well as in material prosperity. The difference between the Aryan and non-Aryan, the sura and asura, is in their standards of spiritual advancement. Association with persons who are not spiritually advanced is forbidden. Lord Caitanya advised, asat-sanga-tyaga: one should avoid persons who are attached to the temporary. Asat is one who is too materially attached, who is not a devotee of the Lord and who is too attached to women or enjoyable material things. Such a person, according to Vaisnava philosophy, is a persona non grata.
A devotee should not be proud of his acquisitions. The symptoms of a devotee are meekness and humility. Although spiritually very advanced, he will always remain meek and humble, as Kaviraja Gosvami and all the other Vaisnavas have taught us by personal example. Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught that one should be humbler than the grass on the street and more tolerant than the tree. One should not be proud or falsely puffed up. In this way one will surely advance in spiritual life.
mad-dharmano gunair etaih
sruta-matra-gunam hi mam
mat-dharmanah--of My devotee; gunaih--with the attributes; etaih--these; parisamsuddhah--completely purified; asayah--consciousness; purusasya--of a person; anjasa--instantly; abhyeti--approaches; sruta--by hearing; matra--simply; gunam--quality; hi--certainly; mam--Me.
When one is fully qualified with all these transcendental attributes and his consciousness is thus completely purified, he is immediately attracted simply by hearing My name or hearing of My transcendental quality.
In the beginning of this instruction, the Lord explained to His mother that mad-guna-sruti-matrena, simply by hearing of the name, quality, form, etc., of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is immediately attracted. A person becomes fully qualified with all transcendental qualities by following the rules and regulations, as recommended in different scriptures. We have developed certain unnecessary qualities by material association, and by following the above process we become free from that contamination. To develop transcendental qualities, as explained in the previous verse, one must become free from these contaminated qualities.
yatha vata-ratho ghranam
avrnkte gandha asayat
evam yoga-ratam ceta
atmanam avikari yat
yatha--as; vata--of air; rathah--the chariot; ghranam--sense of smell; avrnkte--catches; gandhah--aroma; asayat--from the source; evam--similarly; yoga-ratam--engaged in devotional service; cetah--consciousness; atmanam--the Supreme Soul; avikari--unchanging; yat--which.
As the chariot of air carries an aroma from its source and immediately catches the sense of smell, similarly, one who constantly engages in devotional service, in Krsna consciousness, can catch the Supreme Soul, who is equally present everywhere.
As a breeze carrying a pleasant fragrance from a garden of flowers at once captures the organ of smell, so one's consciousness, saturated with devotion, can at once capture the transcendental existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who, in His Paramatma feature, is present everywhere, even in the heart of every living being. It is stated in Bhagavad-gita that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is ksetra jna, present within this body, but He is also simultaneously present in every other body. Since the individual soul is present only in a particular body, he is altered when another individual soul does not cooperate with him. The Supersoul, however, is equally present everywhere. Individual souls may disagree, but the Supersoul, being equally present in every body, is called unchanging, or avikari. The individual soul, when fully saturated with Krsna consciousness, can understand the presence of the Supersoul. It is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita that (bhaktya mam abhijanati) a person saturated with devotional service in full Krsna consciousness can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, either as Supersoul or as the Supreme Person.
aham sarvesu bhutesu
tam avajnaya mam martyah
aham--I; sarvesu--in all; bhutesu--living entities; bhuta-atma--the Supersoul in all beings; avasthitah--situated; sada--always; tam--that Supersoul; avajnaya--disregarding; mam--Me; martyah--a mortal man; kurute--performs; arca--of worship of the Deity; vidambanam--imitation.
I am present in every living entity as the Supersoul. If someone neglects or disregards that Supersoul everywhere and engages himself in the worship of the Deity in the temple, that is simply imitation.
In purified consciousness, or Krsna consciousness, one sees the presence of Krsna everywhere. If, therefore, one only engages in Deity worship in the temple and does not consider other living entities, then he is in the lowest grade of devotional service. One who worships the Deity in the temple and does not show respect to others is a devotee on the material platform, in the lowest stage of devotional service. A devotee should try to understand everything in relationship with Krsna and try to serve everything in that spirit. To serve everything means to engage everything in the service of Krsna. If a person is innocent and does not know his relationship with Krsna, an advanced devotee should try to engage him in the service of Krsna. One who is advanced in Krsna consciousness can engage not only the living being but everything in the service of Krsna.
yo mam sarvesu bhutesu
santam atmanam isvaram
hitvarcam bhajate maudhyad
bhasmany eva juhoti sah
yah--one who; mam--Me; sarvesu--in all; bhutesu--living entities; santam--being present; atmanam--the Paramatma; isvaram--the Supreme Lord; hitva--disregarding; arcam--the Deity; bhajate--worships; maudhyat--because of ignorance; bhasmani--into ashes; eva--only; juhoti--offers oblations; sah--he.
One who worships the Deity of Godhead in the temples but does not know that the Supreme Lord, as Paramatma, is situated in every living entity's heart, must be in ignorance and is compared to one who offers oblations into ashes.
It is stated clearly herein that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His plenary expansion of Supersoul, is present in all living entities. The living entities have 8,400,000 different kinds of bodies, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is living in every body both as the individual soul and as the Supersoul. Since the individual soul is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, in that sense the Lord is living in every body, and, as Supersoul, the Lord is also present as a witness. In both cases the presence of God in every living entity is essential. Therefore persons who profess to belong to some religious sect but who do not feel the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in every living entity, and everywhere else, are in the mode of ignorance.
If, without this preliminary knowledge of the Lord's omnipresence, one simply attaches himself to the rituals in a temple, church or mosque, it is as if he were offering butter into ashes rather than into the fire. One offers sacrifices by pouring clarified butter into a fire and chanting Vedic mantras, but even if there are Vedic mantras and all conditions are favorable, if the clarified butter is poured on ashes, then such a sacrifice will be useless. In other words, a devotee should not ignore any living entity. The devotee must know that in every living entity, however insignificant he may be, even in an ant, God is present, and therefore every living entity should be kindly treated and should not be subjected to any violence. In modern civilized society, slaughterhouses are regularly maintained and supported by a certain type of religious principle. But without knowledge of the presence of God in every living entity, any so-called advancement of human civilization, either spiritual or material, is to be understood as being in the mode of ignorance.
dvisatah para-kaye mam
na manah santim rcchati
dvisatah--of one who is envious; para-kaye--towards the body of another; mam--unto Me; maninah--offering respect; bhinna-darsinah--of a separatist; bhutesu--towards living entities; baddha-vairasya--of one who is inimical; na--not; manah--the mind; santim--peace; rcchati--attains.
One who offers Me respect but is envious of the bodies of others and is therefore a separatist never attains peace of mind, because of his inimical behavior towards other living entities.
In this verse, two phrases, bhutesu baddha-vairasya ("inimical towards others") and dvisatah para-kaye ("envious of another's body"), are significant. One who is envious of or inimical towards others never experiences any happiness. A devotee's vision, therefore, must be perfect. He should ignore bodily distinctions and should see only the presence of the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, and the Lord Himself in His plenary expansion as Supersoul. That is the vision of a pure devotee. The bodily expression of a particular type of living entity is always ignored by the devotee.
It is expressed herein that the Lord is always eager to deliver the conditioned souls, who have been encaged within material bodies. Devotees are expected to carry the message or desire of the Lord to such conditioned souls and enlighten them with Krsna consciousness. Thus they may be elevated to transcendental, spiritual life, and the mission of their lives will be successful. Of course this is not possible for living entities who are lower than human beings, but in human society it is feasible that all living entities can be enlightened with Krsna consciousness. Even living entities who are lower than human can be raised to Krsna consciousness by other methods. For example, Sivananda Sena, a great devotee of Lord Caitanya, delivered a dog by feeding him prasada. Distribution of prasada, or remnants of foodstuffs offered to the Lord, even to the ignorant masses of people and to animals, gives such living entities the chance for elevation to Krsna consciousness. Factually it happened that the same dog, when met by Lord Caitanya at Puri, was liberated from the material condition.
It is especially mentioned here that a devotee must be free from all violence (jivahimsa). Lord Caitanya has recommended that a devotee not commit violence to any living entity. Sometimes the question is raised that since vegetables also have life and devotees take vegetable foodstuffs, isn't that violence? Firstly, however, taking some leaves, twigs or fruit from a tree or plant does not kill the plant. Besides that, jivahimsa means that since every living entity has to pass through a particular type of body according to his past karma, although every living entity is eternal, he should not be disturbed in his gradual evolution. A devotee has to execute the principles of devotional service exactly as they are, and he must know that however insignificant a living entity may be, the Lord is present within him. A devotee must realize this universal presence of the Lord.
aham uccavacair dravyaih
naiva tusye 'rcito 'rcayam
aham--I; ucca-avacaih--with various; dravyaih--paraphernalia; kriyaya--by religious rituals; utpannaya--accomplished; anaghe--O sinless mother; na--not; eva--certainly; tusye--am pleased; arcitah--worshiped; arcayam--in the Deity form; bhuta-grama--to other living entities; avamaninah--with those who are disrespectful.
My dear Mother, even if he worships with proper rituals and paraphernalia, a person who is ignorant of My presence in all living entities never pleases Me by the worship of My Deities in the temple.
There are sixty-four different prescriptions for worship of the Deity in the temple. There are many items offered to the Deity, some valuable and some less valuable. It is prescribed in Bhagavad-gita: "If a devotee offers Me a small flower, a leaf, some water or a little fruit, I will accept it." The real purpose is to exhibit one's loving devotion to the Lord; the offerings themselves are secondary. If one has not developed loving devotion to the Lord and simply offers many kinds of foodstuffs, fruits and flowers without real devotion, the offering will not be accepted by the Lord. We cannot bribe the Personality of Godhead. He is so great that our bribery has no value. Nor has He any scarcity; since He is full in Himself, what can we offer Him? Everything is produced by Him. We simply offer to show our love and gratitude to the Lord.
This gratitude and love for God is exhibited by a pure devotee, who knows that the Lord lives in every living entity. As such, temple worship necessarily includes distribution of prasada. It is not that one should create a temple in his private apartment or private room, offer something to the Lord, and then eat. Of course, that is better than simply cooking foodstuffs and eating without understanding one's relationship with the Supreme Lord; people who act in this manner are just like animals. But the devotee who wants to elevate himself to the higher level of understanding must know that the Lord is present in every living entity, and, as stated in the previous verse, one should be compassionate to other living entities. A devotee should worship the Supreme Lord, be friendly to persons who are on the same level and be compassionate to the ignorant. One should exhibit his compassion for ignorant living entities by distributing prasada. Distribution of prasada to the ignorant masses of people is essential for persons who make offerings to the Personality of Godhead.
Real love and devotion is accepted by the Lord. Many valuable foodstuffs may be presented to a person, but if the person is not hungry, all such offerings are useless for him. Similarly, we may offer many valuable items to the Deity, but if we have no real sense of devotion and no real sense of the Lord's presence everywhere, then we are lacking in devotional service; in such a state of ignorance, we cannot offer anything acceptable to the Lord.
arcadav arcayet tavad
isvaram mam sva-karma-krt
yavan na veda sva-hrdi
arca-adau--beginning with worship of the Deity; arcayet--one should worship; tavat--so long; isvaram--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mam--Me; sva--his own; karma--prescribed duties; krt--performing; yavat--as long as; na--not; veda--he realizes; sva-hrdi--in his own heart; sarva-bhutesu--in all living entities; avasthitam--situated.
Performing his prescribed duties, one should worship the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead until one realizes My presence in his own heart and in the hearts of other living entities as well.
Worship of the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is prescribed herewith even for persons who are simply discharging their prescribed duties. There are prescribed duties for the different social classes of men--the brahmanas, the vaisyas, the ksatriyas and the sudras--and for the different asramas--brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa. One should worship the Deity of the Lord until one appreciates the presence of the Lord in every living entity. In other words, one should not be satisfied simply by discharging his duties properly; he must realize his relationship and the relationship of all other living entities with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If he does not understand this, then even though he discharges his prescribed duties properly, it is to be understood that he is simply laboring without profit.
The word sva-karma-krt in this verse is very significant. Sva-karma-krt is one who engages in discharging his prescribed duties. It is not that one who has become a devotee of the Lord or who engages in devotional service should give up his prescribed duties. No one should be lazy under the plea of devotional service. One has to execute devotional service according to his prescribed duties. Sva-karma-krt means that one should discharge the duties prescribed for him without neglect.
atmanas ca parasyapi
yah karoty antarodaram
tasya bhinna-drso mrtyur
vidadhe bhayam ulbanam
atmanah--of himself; ca--and; parasya--of another; api--also; yah--one who; karoti--discriminates; antara--between; udaram--the body; tasya--of him; bhinna-drsah--having a differential outlook; mrtyuh--as death; vidadhe--I cause; bhayam--fear; ulbanam--great.
As the blazing fire of death, I cause great fear to whoever makes the least discrimination between himself and other living entities because of a differential outlook.
There are bodily differentiations among all varieties of living entities, but a devotee should not distinguish between one living entity and another on such a basis; a devotee's outlook should be that both the soul and Supersoul are equally present in all varieties of living entities.
atha mam sarva-bhutesu
atha--therefore; mam--Me; sarva-bhutesu--in all creatures; bhuta-atmanam--the Self in all beings; krta-alayam--abiding; arhayet--one should propitiate; dana-manabhyam--through charity and respect; maitrya--through friendship; abhinnena--equal; caksusa--by viewing.
Therefore, through charitable gifts and attention, as well as through friendly behavior and by viewing all to be alike, one should propitiate Me, who abide in all creatures as their very Self.
It should not be misunderstood that because the Supersoul is dwelling within the heart of a living entity, the individual soul has become equal to Him. The equality of the Supersoul and the individual soul is misconceived by the impersonalist. Here it is distinctly mentioned that the individual soul should be recognized in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The method of worshiping the individual soul is described here as either giving charitable gifts or behaving in a friendly manner, free from any separatist outlook. The impersonalist sometimes accepts a poor individual soul as being daridra-narayana, meaning that Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has become poor. This is a contradiction. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is full in all opulences. He can agree to live with a poor soul or even with an animal, but this does not make Him poor.
There are two Sanskrit words used here, mana and dana. Mana indicates a superior, and dana indicates one who gives charitable gifts or is compassionate towards an inferior. We cannot treat the Supreme Personality of Godhead as an inferior who is dependent on our charitable gifts. When we give charity, it is to a person who is inferior in his material or economic condition. Charity is not given to a rich man. Similarly, it is explicitly stated here that mana, respect, is offered to a superior, and charity is offered to an inferior. The living entities, according to different results of fruitive activities, may become rich or poor, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is unchangeable; He is always full in six opulences. Treating a living entity equally does not mean treating him as one would treat the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Compassion and friendliness do not necessitate falsely elevating someone to the exalted position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should not, at the same time, misunderstand that the Supersoul situated in the heart of an animal like a hog and the Supersoul situated in the heart of a learned brahmana are different. The Supersoul in all living entities is the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. By His omnipotency, He can live anywhere, and He can create His Vaikuntha situation everywhere. That is His inconceivable potency. Therefore, when Narayana is living in the heart of a hog, He does not become a hog-Narayana. He is always Narayana and is unaffected by the body of the hog.
jivah srestha hy ajivanam
tatah prana-bhrtah subhe
tatah sa-cittah pravaras
jivah--living entities; sresthah--better; hi--indeed; ajivanam--than inanimate objects; tatah--than them; prana-bhrtah--entities with life symptoms; subhe--O blessed mother; tatah--than them; sa-cittah--entities with developed consciousness; pravarah--better; tatah--than them; ca--and; indriya-vrttayah--those with sense perception.
Living entities are superior to inanimate objects, O blessed mother, and among them, living entities who display life symptoms are better. Animals with developed consciousness are better than them, and better still are those who have developed sense perception.
In the previous verse it was explained that living entities should be honored by charitable gifts and friendly behavior, and in this verse and in the following verses, the description of different grades of living entities is given so that one can know when to behave friendly and when to give charity. For example, a tiger is a living entity, part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Supreme Lord is living in the heart of the tiger as Supersoul. But does this mean that we have to treat the tiger in a friendly manner? Certainly not. We have to treat him differently, giving him charity in the form of prasada. The many saintly persons in the jungles do not treat the tigers in a friendly way, but they supply prasada foodstuffs to them. The tigers come, take the food and go away, just as a dog does. According to the Vedic system, a dog is not allowed to enter the house. Because of their uncleanliness, cats and dogs are not allowed within the apartment of a gentleman, but are so trained that they stand outside. The compassionate householder will supply prasada to the dogs and cats, who eat outside and then go away. We must treat the lower living entities compassionately, but this does not mean that we have to treat them in the same way we treat other human beings. The feeling of equality must be there, but the treatment should be discriminating. Just how discrimination should be maintained is given in the following six verses concerning the different grades of living conditions.
The first division is made between dead, stonelike matter and the living organism. A living organism is sometimes manifested even in stone. Experience shows that some hills and mountains grow. This is due to the presence of the soul within that stone. Above that, the next manifestation of the living condition is development of consciousness, and the next manifestation is the development of sense perception. In the Moksa-dharma section of the Mahabharata it is stated that trees have developed sense perception; they can see and smell. We know by experience that trees can see. Sometimes in its growth a large tree changes its course of development to avoid some hindrances. This means that a tree can see, and according to Mahabharata, a tree can also smell. This indicates the development of sense perception.
tebhyo gandha-vidah sresthas
tatah sabda-vido varah
tatra--among them; api--moreover; sparsa-vedibhyah--than those perceiving touch; pravarah--better; rasa-vedinah--those perceiving taste; tebhyah--than them; gandha-vidah--those perceiving smell; sresthah--better; tatah--than them; sabda-vidah--those perceiving sound; varah--better.
Among the living entities who have developed sense perception, those who have developed the sense of taste are better than those who have developed only the sense of touch. Better than them are those who have developed the sense of smell, and better still are those who have developed the sense of hearing.
Although Westerners accept that Darwin first expounded the doctrine of evolution, the science of anthropology is not new. The development of the evolutionary process was known long before from the Bhagavatam, which was written five thousand years ago. There are records of the statements of Kapila Muni, who was present almost in the beginning of the creation. This knowledge has existed since the Vedic time, and all these sequences are disclosed in Vedic literature; the theory of gradual evolution or anthropology is not new to the Vedas.
It is said here that amongst the trees there are also evolutionary processes; the different kinds of trees have touch perception. It is said that better than the trees are the fish because fish have developed the sense of taste. Better than the fish are the bees, who have developed the sense of smell, and better than them are the serpents because serpents have developed the sense of hearing. In the darkness of night a snake can find its eatables simply by hearing the frog's very pleasant cry. The snake can understand, "There is the frog," and he captures the frog simply because of its sound vibration. This example is sometimes given for persons who vibrate sounds simply for death. One may have a very nice tongue that can vibrate sound like the frogs, but that kind of vibration is simply calling death. The best use of the tongue and of sound vibration is to chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. That will protect one from the hands of cruel death.
tesam bahu-padah sresthas
catus-padas tato dvi-pat
rupa-bheda--distinctions of form; vidah--those who perceive; tatra--than them; tatah--than them; ca--and; ubhayatah--in both jaws; datah--those with teeth; tesam--of them; bahu-padah--those who have many legs; sresthah--better; catuh-padah--four-legged; tatah--than them; dvi-pat--two-legged.
Better than those living entities who can perceive sound are those who can distinguish between one form and another. Better than them are those who have developed upper and lower sets of teeth, and better still are those who have many legs. Better than them are the quadrupeds, and better still are the human beings.
It is said that certain birds, such as crows, can distinguish one form from another. Living entities that have many legs, like the wasp, are better than plants and grasses, which have no legs. Four-legged animals are better than many-legged living entities, and better than the animals is the human being, who has only two legs.
tato varnas ca catvaras
tesam brahmana uttamah
brahmanesv api veda-jno
hy artha-jno 'bhyadhikas tatah
tatah--among them; varnah--classes; ca--and; catvarah--four; tesam--of them; brahmanah--a brahmana; uttamah--best; brahmanesu--among the brahmanas; api--moreover; veda--the Vedas; jnah--one who knows; hi--certainly; artha--the purpose; jnah--one who knows; abhyadhikah--better; tatah--than him.
Among human beings, the society which is divided according to quality and work is best, and in that society, the intelligent men, who are designated as brahmanas, are best. Among the brahmanas, one who has studied the Vedas is the best, and among the brahmanas who have studied the Vedas, one who knows the actual purport of Veda is the best.
The system of four classifications in human society according to quality and work is very scientific. This system of brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras has now become vitiated as the present caste system in India, but it appears that this system has been current a very long time, since it is mentioned in Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. Unless there is such a division of the social orders in human society, including the intelligent class, the martial class, the mercantile class and the laborer class, there is always confusion as to who is to work for what purpose. A person trained to the stage of understanding the Absolute Truth is a brahmana, and when such a brahmana is veda jna, he understands the purpose of Veda. The purpose of Veda is to understand the Absolute. One who understands the Absolute Truth in three phases, namely Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan, and who understands the term Bhagavan to mean the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is considered to be the best of the brahmanas, or a Vaisnava.
tatah sreyan sva-karma-krt
mukta-sangas tato bhuyan
adogdha dharmam atmanah
artha-jnat--than one who knows the purpose of the Vedas; samsaya--doubts; chetta--one who cuts off; tatah--than him; sreyan--better; sva-karma--his prescribed duties; krt--one who executes; mukta-sangah--liberated from material association; tatah--than him; bhuyan--better; adogdha--not executing; dharmam--devotional service; atmanah--for himself.
Better than the brahmana who knows the purpose of the Vedas is he who can dissipate all doubts, and better than him is one who strictly follows the brahminical principles. Better than him is one who is liberated from all material contamination, and better than him is a pure devotee, who executes devotional service without expectation of reward.
Artha jna brahmana refers to one who has made a thorough analytical study of the Absolute Truth and who knows that the Absolute Truth is realized in three different phases, namely Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. If someone not only has this knowledge but is able to clear all doubts if questioned about the Absolute Truth, he is considered better. Further, there may be a learned brahmana-Vaisnava who can explain clearly and eradicate all doubts, but if he does not follow the Vaisnava principles, then he is not situated on a higher level. One must be able to clear all doubts and simultaneously be situated in the brahminical characteristics. Such a person, who knows the purpose of the Vedic injunctions, who can employ the principles laid down in the Vedic literatures and who teaches his disciples in that way, is called an acarya. The position of an acarya is that he executes devotional service with no desire for elevation to a higher position of life.
The highest perfectional brahmana is the Vaisnava. A Vaisnava who knows the science of the Absolute Truth but is not able to preach such knowledge to others is described as being in the lower stage, one who not only understands the principles of the science of God but can also preach is in the second stage, and one who not only can preach but who also sees everything in the Absolute Truth and the Absolute Truth in everything is in the highest class of Vaisnavas. It is mentioned here that a Vaisnava is already a brahmana; in fact, the highest stage of brahminical perfection is reached when one becomes a Vaisnava.
tasman mayy arpitasesa-
mayy arpitatmanah pumso
na pasyami param bhutam
tasmat--than him; mayi--unto Me; arpita--offered; asesa--all; kriya--actions; artha--wealth; atma--life, soul; nirantarah--without cessation; mayi--unto Me; arpita--offered; atmanah--whose mind; pumsah--than a person; mayi--unto Me; sannyasta--dedicated; karmanah--whose activities; na--not; pasyami--I see; param--greater; bhutam--living entity; akartuh--without proprietorship; sama--same; darsanat--whose vision.
Therefore I do not find a greater person than he who has no interest outside of Mine and who therefore engages and dedicates all his activities and all his life--everything--unto Me without cessation.
In this verse the word sama-darsanat means that he no longer has any separate interest; the devotee's interest and the Supreme Personality of Godhead's interest are one. For example, Lord Caitanya, in the role of a devotee, also preached the same philosophy. He preached that Krsna is the worshipful Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that the interest of His pure devotees is the same as His own.
Sometimes Mayavadi philosophers, due to a poor fund of knowledge, define the word sama-darsanat to mean that a devotee should see himself as one with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is foolishness. When one thinks himself one with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no question of serving Him. When there is service, there must be a master. Three things must be present for there to be service: the master, the servant and the service. Here it is clearly stated that he who has dedicated his life, all his activities, his mind and his soul--everything--for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, is considered to be the greatest person.
The word akartuh means "without any sense of proprietorship." Everyone wants to act as the proprietor of his actions so that he can enjoy the result. A devotee, however, has no such desire; he acts because the Personality of Godhead wants him to act in a particular way. He has no personal motive. When Lord Caitanya preached Krsna consciousness, it was not with the purpose that people would call Him Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; rather, He preached that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and should be worshiped as such. A devotee who is a most confidential servant of the Lord never does anything for his personal account, but does everything for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. It is clearly stated, therefore, mayi sannyasta-karmanah: the devotee works, but he works for the Supreme. It is also stated, mayy arpitatmanah: "He gives his mind unto Me." These are the qualifications of a devotee, who, according to this verse, is accepted as the highest of all human beings.
pravisto bhagavan iti
manasa--with the mind; etani--to these; bhutani--living entities; pranamet--he offers respects; bahu-manayan--showing regard; isvarah--the controller; jiva--of the living entities; kalaya--by His expansion as the Supersoul; pravistah--has entered; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; iti--thus.
Such a perfect devotee offers respects to every living entity because he is under the firm conviction that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has entered the body of every living entity as the Supersoul, or controller.
A perfect devotee, as described above, does not make the mistake of thinking that because the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Paramatma has entered into the body of every living entity, every living entity has become the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is foolishness. Suppose a person enters into a room; that does not mean that the room has become that person. Similarly, that the Supreme Lord has entered into each of the 8,400,000 particular types of material bodies does not mean that each of these bodies has become the Supreme Lord. Because the Supreme Lord is present, however, a pure devotee accepts each body as the temple of the Lord, and since the devotee offers respect to such temples in full knowledge, he gives respect to every living entity in relationship with the Lord. Mayavadi philosophers wrongly think that because the Supreme Person has entered the body of a poor man, the Supreme Lord has become daridra-narayana, or poor Narayana. These are all blasphemous statements of atheists and nondevotees.
bhakti-yogas ca yogas ca
maya manavy udiritah
purusah purusam vrajet
bhakti-yogah--devotional service; ca--and; yogah--mystic yoga; ca--also; maya--by Me; manavi--O daughter of Manu; udiritah--described; yayoh--of which two; ekatarena--by either one; eva--alone; purusah--a person; purusam--the Supreme Person; vrajet--can achieve.
My dear mother, O daughter of Manu, a devotee who applies the science of devotional service and mystic yoga in this way can achieve the abode of the Supreme Person simply by that devotional service.
Herein the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kapiladeva perfectly explains that the mystic yoga system, consisting of eight different kinds of yoga activities, has to be performed with the aim of coming to the perfectional stage of bhakti-yoga. It is not acceptable for one to be satisfied simply by practicing the sitting postures and thinking himself complete. By meditation one must attain the stage of devotional service. As previously described, a yogi is advised to meditate on the form of Lord Visnu from point to point, from the ankles to the legs to the knees to the thighs to the chest to the neck, and in this way gradually up to the face and then to the ornaments. There is no question of impersonal meditation.
When, by meditation on the Supreme Personality of Godhead in all detail, one comes to the point of love of God, that is the point of bhakti-yoga, and at that point he must actually render service to the Lord out of transcendental love. Anyone who practices yoga and comes to the point of devotional service can attain the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His transcendental abode. Here it is clearly stated, purusah purusam vrajet: the purusa, the living entity, goes to the Supreme Person. The Supreme Personality of Godhead and the living entity are qualitatively one; both are defined as purusa. The quality of purusa exists both in the Supreme Godhead and in the living entity. purusa means "enjoyer," and the spirit of enjoyment is present both in the living entity and in the Supreme Lord. The difference is that the quantity of enjoyment is not equal. The living entity cannot experience the same quantity of enjoyment as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. An analogy may be made with a rich man and a poor man: the propensity for enjoyment is present in both, but the poor man cannot enjoy in the same quantity as the rich man. When the poor man dovetails his desires with those of the rich man, however, and when there is cooperation between the poor man and the rich man, or between the big and the small man, then the enjoyment is shared equally. That is like bhakti-yoga. purusah purusam vrajet: when the living entity enters into the kingdom of God and cooperates with the Supreme Lord by giving Him enjoyment, he enjoys the same facility or the same amount of pleasure as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
On the other hand, when the living entity wants to enjoy by imitating the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his desire is called maya, and it puts him in the material atmosphere. A living entity who wants to enjoy on his personal account and not cooperate with the Supreme Lord is engaged in materialistic life. As soon as he dovetails his enjoyment with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is engaged in spiritual life. An example may be cited here: The different limbs of the body cannot enjoy life independently; they must cooperate with the whole body and supply food to the stomach. In so doing, all the different parts of the body enjoy equally in cooperation with the whole body. That is the philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda, simultaneous oneness and difference. The living entity cannot enjoy life in opposition to the Supreme Lord; he has to dovetail his activities with the Lord by practicing bhakti-yoga.
It is said herein that one can approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead by either the yoga process or the bhakti-yoga process. This indicates that factually there is no difference between yoga and bhakti-yoga because the target of both is Visnu. In the modern age, however, a yoga process has been manufactured which aims at something void and impersonal. Actually, yoga means meditation on the form of Lord Visnu. If the yoga practice is actually performed according to the standard direction, there is no difference between yoga and bhakti-yoga.
etad bhagavato rupam
param pradhanam purusam
etat--this; bhagavatah--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; rupam--form; brahmanah--of Brahman; parama-atmanah--of Paramatma; param--transcendental; pradhanam--chief; purusam--personality; daivam--spiritual; karma-vicestitam--whose activities.
This purusa whom the individual soul must approach is the eternal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Brahman and Paramatma. He is the transcendental chief personality, and His activities are all spiritual.
In order to distinguish the personality whom the individual soul must approach, it is described herein that this purusa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the chief amongst all living entities and is the ultimate form of the impersonal Brahman effulgence and Paramatma manifestation. Since He is the origin of the Brahman effulgence and Paramatma manifestation, He is described herewith as the chief personality. It is confirmed in the Katha Upanisad, nityo nityanam: there are many eternal living entities, but He is the chief maintainer. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita also, where Lord Krsna says, aham sarvasya prabhavah: "I am the origin of everything, including the Brahman effulgence and Paramatma manifestation." His activities are transcendental, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita. Janma karma ca me divyam: the activities and the appearance and disappearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are transcendental; they are not to be considered material. Anyone who knows this fact--that the appearance, disappearance and activities of the Lord are beyond material activities or material conception--is liberated. Yo vetti tattvatah. tyaktva deham punar janma: such a person, after quitting his body, does not come back again to this material world, but goes to the Supreme Person. It is confirmed here, purusah purusam vrajet: the living entity goes to the Supreme Personality simply by understanding His transcendental nature and activities.
kala ity abhidhiyate
yato bhinna-drsam bhayam
rupa-bheda--of the transformation of forms; aspadam--the cause; divyam--divine; kalah--time; iti--thus; abhidhiyate--is known; bhutanam--of living entities; mahat-adinam--beginning with Lord Brahma; yatah--because of which; bhinna-drsam--with separate vision; bhayam--fear.
The time factor, who causes the transformation of the various material manifestations, is another feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Anyone who does not know that time is the same Supreme Personality is afraid of the time factor.
Everyone is afraid of the activities of time, but a devotee who knows that the time factor is another representation or manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has nothing to fear from the influence of time. The phrase rupa-bhedaspadam is very significant. By the influence of time, so many forms are changing. For example, when a child is born his form is small, but in the course of time that form changes into a larger form, the body of a boy, and then the body of a young man. Similarly, everything is changed and transformed by the time factor, or by the indirect control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Usually, we do not see any difference between the body of a child and the body of a boy or young man because we know that these changes are due to the action of the time factor. There is cause for fear for a person who does not know how time acts.
yo 'ntah pravisya bhutani
bhutair atty akhilasrayah
sa visnv-akhyo 'dhiyajno 'sau
kalah kalayatam prabhuh
yah--He who; antah--within; pravisya--entering; bhutani--living entities; bhutaih--by living entities; atti--annihilates; akhila--of everyone; asrayah--the support; sah--He; visnu--Visnu; akhyah--named; adhiyajnah--the enjoyer of all sacrifices; asau--that; kalah--time factor; kalayatam--of all masters; prabhuh--the master.
Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the enjoyer of all sacrifices, is the time factor and the master of all masters. He enters everyone's heart, He is the support of everyone, and He causes every being to be annihilated by another.
Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is clearly described in this passage. He is the supreme enjoyer, and all others are working as His servants. As stated in the Caitanya caritamrta (Adi 5.14), ekale isvara krsna: the only Supreme Lord is Visnu. Ara saba bhrtya: all others are His servants. Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and other demigods are all servants. The same Visnu enters everyone's heart as Paramatma, and He causes the annihilation of every being through another being.
na casya kascid dayito
na dvesyo na ca bandhavah
avisaty apramatto 'sau
pramattam janam anta-krt
na--not; ca--and; asya--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kascit--anyone; dayitah--dear; na--not; dvesyah--enemy; na--not; ca--and; bandhavah--friend; avisati--approaches; apramattah--attentive; asau--He; pramattam--inattentive; janam--persons; anta-krt--the destroyer.
No one is dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, nor is anyone His enemy or friend. But He gives inspiration to those who have not forgotten Him and destroys those who have.
Forgetfulness of one's relationship with Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the cause of one's repeated birth and death. A living entity is as eternal as the Supreme Lord, but due to his forgetfulness he is put into this material nature and transmigrates from one body to another, and when the body is destroyed, he thinks that he is also destroyed. Actually, this forgetfulness of his relationship with Lord Visnu is the cause of his destruction. Anyone who revives his consciousness of the original relationship receives inspiration from the Lord. This does not mean that the Lord is someone's enemy and someone else's friend. He helps everyone; one who is not bewildered by the influence of material energy is saved, and one who is bewildered is destroyed. It is said, therefore, harim vina na srtim taranti: no one can be saved from the repetition of birth and death without the help of the Supreme Lord. It is therefore the duty of all living entities to take shelter of the lotus feet of Visnu and thus save themselves from the cycle of birth and death.
yad-bhayad vati vato 'yam
suryas tapati yad-bhayat
yad-bhayad varsate devo
bha-gano bhati yad-bhayat
yat--of whom (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); bhayat--out of fear; vati--blows; vatah--the wind; ayam--this; suryah--sun; tapati--shines; yat--of whom; bhayat--out of fear; yat--of whom; bhayat--out of fear; varsate--sends rains; devah--the god of rain; bha-ganah--the host of heavenly bodies; bhati--shine; yat--of whom; bhayat--out of fear.
Out of fear of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the wind blows, out of fear of Him the sun shines, out of fear of Him the rain pours forth showers, and out of fear of Him the host of heavenly bodies shed their luster.
The Lord states in Bhagavad-gita, mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate: "Nature is working under My direction." The foolish person thinks that nature is working automatically, but such an atheistic theory is not supported in the Vedic literature. Nature is working under the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, and we also find here that the sun shines under the direction of the Lord, and the cloud pours forth showers of rain under the direction of the Lord. All natural phenomena are under superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu.
yad vanaspatayo bhita
latas causadhibhih saha
sve sve kale 'bhigrhnanti
puspani ca phalani ca
yat--because of whom; vanah-patayah--the trees; bhitah--fearful; latah--creepers; ca--and; osadhibhih--herbs; saha--with; sve sve kale--each in its own season; abhigrhnanti--bear; puspani--flowers; ca--and; phalani--fruits; ca--also.
Out of fear of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the trees, creepers, herbs and seasonal plants and flowers blossom and fructify, each in its own season.
As the sun rises and sets and the seasonal changes ensue at their appointed times by the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, so the seasonal plants, flowers, herbs and trees all grow under the direction of the Supreme Lord. It is not that plants grow automatically, without any cause, as the atheistic philosophers say. Rather, they grow in pursuance of the supreme order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is confirmed in the Vedic literature that the Lord's diverse energies are working so nicely that it appears that everything is being done automatically.
sravanti sarito bhita
notsarpaty udadhir yatah
agnir indhe sa-giribhir
bhur na majjati yad-bhayat
sravanti--flow; saritah--rivers; bhitah--fearful; na--not; utsarpati--overflows; uda-dhih--the ocean; yatah--because of whom; agnih--fire; indhe--burns; sa-giribhih--with its mountains; bhuh--the earth; na--not; majjati--sinks; yat--of whom; bhayat--out of fear.
Out of fear of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the rivers flow, and the ocean never overflows. Out of fear of Him only does fire burn and does the earth, with its mountains, not sink in the water of the universe.
We can understand from the Vedic literature that this universe is half filled with water, on which Garbhodakasayi Visnu is lying. From His abdomen a lotus flower has grown, and within the stem of that lotus flower all the different planets exist. The material scientist explains that all these different planets are floating because of the law of gravity or some other law; but the actual lawmaker is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When we speak of law, we must understand that there must be a lawmaker. The material scientists can discover laws of nature, but they are unable to recognize the lawmaker. From Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita we can know who the lawmaker is: the lawmaker is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
It is said here that the planets do not sink. Since they are floating under the order or energy of the Supreme Godhead, they do not fall down into the water which covers half the universe. All the planets are heavy, with their various mountains, seas, oceans, cities, palaces and buildings, and yet they are floating. It is understood from this passage that all the other planets that are floating in the air have oceans and mountains similar to those on this planet.
nabho dadati svasatam
padam yan-niyamad adah
lokam sva-deham tanute
mahan saptabhir avrtam
nabhah--the sky; dadati--gives; svasatam--to the living entities; padam--abode; yat--of whom (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); niyamat--under the control; adah--that; lokam--the universe; sva-deham--own body; tanute--expands; mahan--the mahat-tattva; saptabhih--with the seven (layers); avrtam--covered.
Subject to the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sky allows outer space to accommodate all the various planets, which hold innumerable living entities. The total universal body expands with its seven coverings under His supreme control.
It is understood from this verse that all the planets in outer space are floating, and they all hold living entities. The word svasatam means "those who breathe," or the living entities. In order to accommodate them, there are innumerable planets. Every planet is a residence for innumerable living entities, and the necessary space is provided in the sky by the supreme order of the Lord. It is also stated here that the total universal body is increasing. It is covered by seven layers, and as there are five elements within the universe, so the total elements, in layers, cover the outside of the universal body. The first layer is of earth, and it is ten times greater in size than the space within the universe; the second layer is water, and that is ten times greater than the earthly layer; the third covering is fire, which is ten times greater than the water covering. In this way each layer is ten times greater than the previous one.
sargadisv asya yad-bhayat
vartante 'nuyugam yesam
vasa etac caracaram
guna--the modes of material nature; abhimaninah--in charge of; devah--the demigods; sarga-adisu--in the matter of creation and so on; asya--of this world; yat-bhayat--out of fear of whom; vartante--carry out functions; anuyugam--according to the yugas; yesam--of whom; vase--under the control; etat--this; cara-acaram--everything animate and inanimate.
Out of fear of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the directing demigods in charge of the modes of material nature carry out the functions of creation, maintenance and destruction; everything animate and inanimate within this material world is under their control.
The three modes of material nature, namely goodness, passion and ignorance, are under the control of three deities--Brahma, Visnu and Lord Siva. Lord Visnu is in charge of the mode of goodness, Lord Brahma is in charge of the mode of passion, and Lord Siva is in charge of the mode of ignorance. Similarly, there are many other demigods in charge of the air department, the water department, the cloud department, etc. Just as the government has many different departments, so, within this material world, the government of the Supreme Lord has many departments, and all these departments function in proper order out of fear of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Demigods are undoubtedly controlling all matter, animate and inanimate, within the universe, but above them the supreme controller is the Personality of Godhead. Therefore in the Brahma-samhita it is said, isvarah paramah krsnah. Undoubtedly there are many controllers in the departmental management of this universe, but the supreme controller is Krsna.
There are two kinds of dissolutions. One kind of dissolution takes place when Brahma goes to sleep during his night, and the final dissolution takes place when Brahma dies. As long as Brahma does not die, creation, maintenance and destruction are actuated by different demigods under the superintendence of the Supreme Lord.
so 'nanto 'nta-karah kalo
'nadir adi-krd avyayah
janam janena janayan
sah--that; anantah--endless; anta-karah--destroyer; kalah--time; anadih--without beginning; adi-krt--the creator; avyayah--not liable to change; janam--persons; janena--by persons; janayan--creating; marayan--destroying; mrtyuna--by death; antakam--the lord of death.
The eternal time factor has no beginning and no end. It is the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the maker of the criminal world. It brings about the end of the phenomenal world, it carries on the work of creation by bringing one individual into existence from another, and likewise it dissolves the universe by destroying even the lord of death, Yamaraja.
By the influence of eternal time, which is a representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the father begets a son, and the father dies by the influence of cruel death. But by time's influence, even the lord of cruel death is killed. In other words, all the demigods within the material world are temporary, like ourselves. Our lives last for one hundred years at the most, and similarly, although their lives may last for millions and billions of years, the demigods are not eternal. No one can live within this material world eternally. The phenomenal world is created, maintained and destroyed by the finger signal of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore a devotee does not desire anything in this material world. A devotee desires only to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This servitude exists eternally; the Lord exists eternally, His servitor exists eternally, and the service exists eternally.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Third Canto, Twenty-ninth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Explanation of Devotional Service by Lord Kapila."