Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bhajana Rahasya : The verse that got me

I am going through the Bhajan Rahasya for the nth time. I did the first version of the translation in 2002. I have been finalizing it for publication, which will be done by Gopinath Gaudiya Math.

The Bhajan Rahasya has an important place for me in my own spiritual life and as I start reading it again, I can remember back to the powerful effect it had on me way back when I first read it, before there were any translations. This would have been 1979.

It was one of the principal influences that led me to a closer relation with Bhaktivinoda Thakur.

I think that the following verses in Bhajana Rahasya were amongst those that captured my imagination. Up until this point near the end of the second chapter, it was more or less standard fodder, but this part suddenly made the desire for ekānta bhajana awaken in me.

prabhāte cārdharātre ce madhyāhne divasaṅkṣaye
kīrtayanti hariṁ ye vai na teṣāmanyasādhanam

The single-minded devotee who chants the Holy Names of the Lord in the morning, in the middle of night, at noon and at the end of the day, has absolutely no need for any other spiritual practice. (HBV 20.379)

evam ekāntināṁ prāyaḥ kīrtanaṁ smaraṇaṁ prabhoḥ
kurvatāṁ parama-prītyā kṛtyam anyan na rocate
bhāvena kenacit preṣṭha-śrī-mūrter aṅghri-sevane
syād icchaiṣāṁ sva-mantreṇa svarasenaiva tad-vidhiḥ
vihiteṣv eva nityeṣu pravartante svayaṁ hi te

Exclusive devotees engage in practically nothing other than chanting the Holy Name and remembering Krishna’s pastimes. Doing this with supreme love, they have no taste for any other activity. They may serve their beloved Deities according to their own particular mood, following their own desires and using their personal mantra. They also set the rules for this worship according to their personal taste. Regular duties (like bathing, etc.) are conducted automatically (i.e., without external prodding). (HBV 20.382-384)

Bhaktivinode: Exclusive devotees only engage in kirtan and smaran; they have no taste for any other spiritual practices and do not take them up. They engage in worshiping the Deity form with emotion and this leads to spontaneous remembrance of Krishna’s pastimes.

The exclusive devotees’ activities and moods are all born out of their love for Krishna. Even so, they do not go against the rules and regulations of scriptures.

Erase all wickedness from your heart and take shelter of the Holy Name in the morning, through the day and into the deep night. One who chants the Holy Name and remembers Krishna’s pastimes in this way quickly and easily crosses over the material nature.

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