Friday, October 19, 2007

Bhava-visista atma-nivedana

When I got up this morning, as is often the case, a couple of verses were rattling in my brain. One was from Muchukunda's prayers--

bhavapavargo bhramato yada bhavej
janasya tarhy acyuta sat-samagamah
sat-sangamo yarhi tadaiva sad-gatau
paravarese tvayi jayate matih

O Achyuta, when the time comes for the jiva soul to be freed from the whirlpool of samsara, he is brought into contact with the saintly. And where there is association with devotees, there arises devotion to the Supreme Lord, the destination of the pure. (SB 10.51.53)
The other one is Krishna speaking to Uddhava:

martyo yada tyakta-samasta-karma
niveditatma vicikirsito me
tadamrtatvam pratipadyamano
mayatma-bhuyaya ca kalpate vai

A person who gives up all fruitive activities and offers himself entirely unto me, eagerly desiring to render service unto me, achieves liberation from birth and death and is promoted to the status of sharing my own opulences. (11.29.34)
Prabhupada's translation: The living entity who is subjected to birth and death, when he gives up all material activities dedicating his life to Me for executing my order, and thus acts according to My direction, at that reaches the platform of immortality, and becomes fit to enjoy the spiritual bliss of exchange of loving mellows with Me.'

I found a nice essay by Keshava Maharaj on the Pure Bhakti site Atma Nivedana in the Gita in which he brings up some nice points about the latter verse as quoted in Bhakti-sandarbha 309. Tad atma-nivedanam bhavam vina bhava-vaisistena ca drsyate. There are two kinds of self-surrender, either colored by a particular bhava, or without any such bhava. You'll notice that Jiva Goswami often makes this kind of distinction between a fundamentally raganuga attitude, where one is conscious of and desires to develop a specific identity in relation to Krishna, and the vaidhi one where such consciousness is lacking specificity.

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