Bhakti Sandarbha 322-323 : Fix the Mind on Kṛṣṇa, Somehow or Another

King Prithu

The Bhakti Sandarbha texts that appear here are not the official version, which still has to go through more editorial changes. It represents the state of the work after I have looked at it and made my changes. The Jiva Institute edition of the Bhakti Sandarbha should be finished and published later this year, and also made available in electronic form soon thereafter. This is only meant to give a foretaste, but better not to quote or use it. Thank you.N.B. E-books are now available from, as are the other first four Sandarbhas.
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Remember that the Jiva Tirtha courses with Satyanarayana Dasaji are ongoing. You can also take beginner or advanced Sanskrit with me. Registration is now open. The opportunity to study with an extraordinary Vaishnava scholar like Babaji in the holy dham of Vrindavan is unequaled anywhere in this world. Rare and most fortunate are the souls who can take advantage.

Jai Radhe.

Anuccheda 322: Enmity is Not a Recommended Process

यदि द्वेषेणापि सिद्धिस्तर्हि वेणः किमिति नरके पातितः ? इत्याशङ्क्याह (भा. ७.१.३१)—

कतमोऽपि न वेनः स्यात् पञ्चानां पुरुषं प्रति

If perfection can be attained even by hatred, why is it that Vena was cast into hell? Anticipating such a question, Śrī Nārada spoke the next verse:

Vena did not have any one of these five attitudes towards the Supreme Bhagavān. (SB 7.1.31)

Prithu appears from Vena's corpse.
पुरुषं भगवन्तं प्रति लक्ष्यीकृत्य पञ्चानां वैरानुबन्धादीनां मध्ये वेनः कतमोऽपि न स्यात्। तस्य तं प्रति प्रासङ्गिकनिन्दामात्रात्मकं वैरं, न तु वैरानुबन्धः। ततस्तीव्रध्यानाभावात् पापमेव तत्र प्रतिफलितमिति भावः। ततोऽसुरतुल्यस्वभावैरपि तस्मिन् स्वमोक्षार्थं वैरभावानुष्ठानसाहसं न कर्तव्यमित्यभिप्रेतम्। अत एव "ये वै भगवता प्रोक्ताः" (भा. ११.२.३४) इत्यादेरप्यतिव्याप्तिर्व्याहन्यते अनभिप्रेतत्वेनाप्रोक्तत्वात्॥

Vena did not have any of the five attitudes already described, such as unceasing enmity, in relation to the Supreme Bhagavān. Although He did exhibit animosity towards Bhagavān in the form of occasional criticism, his enmity was not unbroken. Consequently, because he lacked the intensity of absorption in meditation on Bhagavān, his criticisms resulted only in sin. So the intention here is to show that for the attainment of one’s own liberation, one should not dare to adopt an inimical attitude towards Bhagavān, even though it is natural for the asuras. Thus, the possibility of stretching the definition of bhāgavata-dharma too far so as to include unintended elements such as animosity, is removed by verses like this:

All those means that were spoken of by Bhagavān, so that unenlightened humanity could easily attain realization of the Self, you should know to be bhāgavata-dharma. (SB 11.2.34)

Because Bhagavān never intended that animosity be taken up as a process to attain Him, He never mentioned it, and so it cannot be accepted as part of the bhāgavata-dharma.

Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji

Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī makes it every clear that animosity towards Bhagavān is not a prescribed process to attain Him. One may raise a doubt: Then what is the purpose behind the story of Śiśupāla?

The answer is that this story is meant to inform us about the power of absorption in Bhagavān. What liberates one is the absorption in Bhagavān, not the animosity. To make this clear Śrī Nārada gives the example of King Vena. Vena was an atheist king and made a declaration that nobody should worship Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa, perform any yajña or engage in any religious acts prescribed by the Veda (SB 4.14.23-28). Even with all this, his mind was not absorbed in Bhagavān as was the case with Śiśupāla. Therefore, after death he went to hell for engaging in forbidden acts. Thus one should not follow in the footsteps of King Vena.

Following Śiśupāla is not possible because nobody has natural enemity like him. One may say that just as by following vaidhī bhakti one comes to the preliminary stages of love , bhāva, so one can also practice vaidhī dveṣa and will attain absorption like Śiśupāla. This is not true. It has been said earlier bhakti is the internal potency of Bhagavān and it descends into the heart of a sādhaka by the grace of Bhagavān or His devotee. By practicing dveṣa, no grace will come. Moreover, there is no recommendation anywhere in the scriptures to take to such a process. One cannot attain Bhagavān by concocting one’s own process or by misinterpreting the scriptures.

Anuccheda 323: Fix the Mind on Kṛṣṇa, Somehow or Another/


तस्मात् केनाप्युपायेन मनः कृष्णे निवेशयेत्॥ (भा. ७.१.३१) इति।

Because absorption in Bhagavān is so important Śrī Nārada has given this prescription:

Therefore, one should absorb the mind in Kṛṣṇa by any means whatsoever. (SB 7.1.31)

अत्रापि पूर्ववन्निवेशयेदिति सम्मतिमात्रं न विधिः।

[It was already pointed out in Anuccheda 317 that the verb yuñjyāt, “one should absorb the mind,” is in the optative mood, indicating possibility and not an injunction.] In this verse also, the verb niveśayet, “one should absorb [the mind],” also indicates a recommendation and not a rule. [This is because mental absorption cannot come about through injunctions.]

केनापि तेष्वप्युपायेषु युक्ततमेनैकेनेत्यर्थः। अहो यस्तादृशबहुप्रयत्नसाध्यवैधीभक्तिमार्गेण चिरात् साध्यते, स एवाचिराद्भावविशेषमात्रेण, तत्र च द्वेषादिनापि। तस्मादेवंभूते परमसद्गुणस्वभावे तस्मिन् दूरेऽस्तु पामरजनभावस्य वैरस्य वार्ता, को वाधम औदास्यमवलम्ब्य प्रीतिमपि न कुर्यादिति रागानुगायामेव तच्च युक्ततमत्वमङ्गीकृतं भवति॥

The statement, “by any means whatsoever,” means by the most suitable method among those already mentioned. It is a great wonder that the very thing that is achieved after a long time with great endeavor through the path of vaidhī bhakti is quickly achieved simply through a specific internal feeling (bhāva), including even animosity. Thus, because Bhagavān’s nature is so supremely virtuous that He awards the highest destination even to those who approach Him out of animosity, one should not even conceive of approaching Him out of enmity, which is the attitude of those who are ill-intentioned. And what sort of a petty person could remain simply indifferent to Bhagavān, without feeling any love for Him? Thus it is concluded that rāgānugā bhakti is the most suitable way to absorb the mind in Kṛṣṇa among the different attitudes mentioned previously.

॥७.१॥ श्रीनारदः युधिष्ठिरम्॥३१२-३२३॥

Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji

The beauty of poetry is in its implied meaning or vyañjanā-vṛtti. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī concludes that the essential message of the whole episode of killing of Śiśupāla is given in this verse. The important thing is absorption in Kṛṣṇa. It is for conveying this message that Śiśupāla's animosity was given as an example. We have experience of dveṣa and can understand how the mind becomes absorbed in an object of dveṣa. By this the superiority of rāgānugā bhakti over vaidhī bhakti has been established.


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