Bhakti Sandarbha 333-334 : Dharma Offered to Kṛṣṇa Brings Perfection
Here conclude the teachings from Uddhava-saṁvāda.. I find it rather interesting that after all that rāgānigā talk he returns to something as weak sounding as engaging in one's dharmic duties in consciousness of Him. It reminds me of the inquiry I made into āropa-siddhā bhakti way back in the early days of this blog. [Āropa-siddhā was discussed in Bhakti Sandarbha posts from 217 to 225 (five posts in all). You can see those early posts here: Ahangrahopasana III and IV. I have yet to find a devotee who understands these articles.
Dharma Offered to Kṛṣṇa Brings Perfection
अथ तामेव कैमुत्येनाप्याह (भा. ११.२९.२१)—
यो यो मयि परे धर्मः कल्प्यते निष्फलाय चेत्।
तत्रायासोऽनिरर्थः स्याद्भयादेरिव सत्तम॥
Bhagavān expressed this superiority of His own worship by the a fortiori or kaimutya principle:
O pious Uddhava, whatever dharma is offered to Me, the Supreme, if it is done without fruitive purpose, then the effort undertaken never goes in vain, just as was seen in the case of fear and other similar emotions [when experienced in relation to Me]. (SB 11.29.21)
मयि मदर्पितत्वेन कृतो यो यो धर्मो वेदविहितः, स स यदि निष्फलाय फलाभावाय कल्प्यते, फलकामनया नार्प्यत इत्यर्थः, तदा तत्र तत्रायासः श्रान्तिरनिरर्थः स्यात्, व्यर्थो न भवति।
Whatever dharmas or duties prescribed by the Vedas are done as an offering to Me, if they are done without fruitive purpose (niṣphalāya), that is, they are offered without any desire for the result, then whatever effort or work was put into them does not go in vain (anirartha), i.e., it is not wasted.
निष्फलायेति विशेषणं फलभोगादिरूपतद्भक्त्यन्तरायाभावेन अनिरर्थतातिशयतात्पर्यम्। तत्रानिरर्थत्वे कैमुत्येन श्रीकृष्णलक्षणस्य स्वस्यासाधारणभजनीयताव्यञ्जको दृष्टान्तः—भयादेरिव इति। यथा कंसादौ मत्सम्बन्धमात्रेण भयादेरप्यायासो निरर्थो न भवति, मोक्षसम्पादकत्वादित्यर्थः॥
"Without fruitive purpose" (niṣphalāya) is a modifier that signifies that due to the absence of obstacles to devotion that arise from the desire to enjoy the fruits of action they are exceedingly devoid of meaninglessness. To show how these efforts are not in vain he offers the example of relating to Kṛṣṇa out of fear. This example argues a fortiori, revealing His own extraordinarily worshipable nature as Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Just as in the case of Kaṁsa and others, their efforts which were motivated by fear and other similar emotions, did not go in vain, simply because of being related to Kṛṣṇa, because even fear in relation to Kṛṣṇa leads to liberation.
[So, if even fear connected to Bhagavān is never wasted, then how much more true it must be in the case of prescribed duties performed in relation to Him?]
Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji
There are two types of modifiers, samānādhikaraṇa and vyadhikaraṇa. The first one has the same gender, case, and number as the object it qualifies, and the second not so. Niṣphalāya is the second type of adjective.
If one offers one’s prescribed duties to Kṛṣṇa without desiring anything material in return then it will bring one to the platform of pure bhakti.
Kṛṣṇa Fulfills All The Goals of Pure Devotees
अथ श्रीमदुद्धववत् श्रीकृष्णैकानुगतानां साधनत्वे साध्यत्वे च स्वयं श्रीकृष्णरूप एव परमोपादेय इत्याह (भा. ११.२९.३३)—
For devotees like Uddhava, who are exclusively devoted to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, only the original form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is preferable above all, both in the stage of practice and in perfection, as indicated in this verse:
ज्ञाने कर्मणि योगे च वार्तायां दण्डधारणे।
यावान् अर्थो नृणां तात तावांस्तेऽहं चतुर्विधः॥
My beloved Uddhava, for you I am the entire range of the fourfold goals attained by human beings through self-knowledge, prescribed duty, yoga, business, and administration of justice. (SB 11.29.33)
ज्ञानादौ यावान् धर्मादिलक्षणश्चतुर्विधोऽर्थः, तावान् सर्वोऽप्यहमेव। तत्र ज्ञाने मोक्षः। कर्मणि धर्मः कामश्च। योगे नानाविधसिद्धिलक्षणो लौकिको वार्तायां दण्डधारणे च नानाविधलौकिकश्चार्थ इति चतुर्विधत्वं ज्ञेयम्॥
The fourfold goals refer to religion, prosperity, enjoyment and liberation. These are achieved through self-knowledge and the other means mentioned in the verse. Kṛṣṇa says, “I alone am the entire range of all these goals.” As far as the fourfold goals are concerned, it should be understood that liberation is attained through self-knowledge, religion and enjoyment through proper execution of prescribed duties, different types of psychic powers through yoga, and varieties of material prosperity through business and administration of justice.
Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji
Religion, material prosperity, sense enjoyment, and liberation are the four human pursuits. The actions of human beings are aimed to achieve these foru things. There are different processes to achieve them which are listed in this verse. A devotee, however, does not have to engage in these processes to achieve any or all of the four goals. Kṛṣṇa can fulfill any desire of His devotee, if devotee has any. Pure devotees do not desire anything other than loving service to Kṛṣṇa. But if ever they happen to desire something they need not endeavor for it separately.