Priti Sandarbha 7.8 : Sometimes a pure devotee appears to be overcome by Māyā
7.8 Sometimes a Pure Devotee Appears to Be Completely Overcome by Māyā: The Case of Jaya and Vijaya
yathā daitya-janmani jaya-vijayayoḥ | atra pūrveṣāṁ svalpa eva tad-ābhāsaḥ, tayos tu samyag iti viśeṣaḥ, tat premādīnām anāvaraṇād āvaraṇāc ca |
This līlā-śakti was also active in Jaya and Vijaya in their birth as demons. In the earlier cases [i.e., of the Brajavāsīs and Baladeva, with which the previoius] the semblance [of the absence of pure bhakti] was minor, but in the case of Jaya and Vijaya it was complete; this difference is due to the fact that in the first cases, the devotees' love [for Kṛṣṇa] was not covered but in the second, it was.
tatra tayor vaira-bhāva-prāptau khalu muni-kṛtatvaṁ na syāt | "mataṁ tu me" [bhā.pu. 3.16.29] ity atra bhagavad-icchāyās tat-kāraṇatvena sthāpitatvāt |
The feeling of animosity [towards Bhagavān] acquired by Jaya and Vijaya was certainly not caused by the [curse of the] sages [the Kumāras] because He Himself stated that His desire was the reason for it (mataṁ tu me, SB 3.16.29).
brahma-tejaḥ samartho’pi hantuṁ necche mataṁ tu me ||
Comment by SND
When Jaya and Vijaya were cursed to become Hiraṇyakaśipu and Hiraṇyākṣa, they completely forgot their identities as doorkeepers in Vaikuṇṭha. This also happened by the līlā-śakti of Bhagavān. Otherwise it would not have been possible for them to play the role of Bhagavān's enemies. One should not think, however, that their feeling of animosity towards Kṛṣṇa was caused by the curse of the Kumāras. It took place by the will of Viṣṇu (Cf. 3.16.29). But Bhagavān Himself did not have any animosity towards the two brothers. Generally it is seen that when one person gets angry and abuses another, the second person reacts in the same way as the first. Bhagavān, however, did not react to the anger of Hiraṇyakaśipu, Hiraṇyākṣa, Rāvaṇa, Kumbhakarṇa, Śiśupāla or Dantavakra in the same mood.
nāpi sā tadīya-vaira-bhāvāya sampadyate, svecchāmayasya [bhā.pu. 10.14.2] ity-ādibhyaḥ |
Nor did their animosity give rise to a reciprocal mood of animosity towards them in Bhagavān, because He is independent in His will (svecchā-maya), as stated in SB 10.14.2:
asyāpi deva vapuṣo mad-anugrahāya
svecchāmayasya na tu bhūtamayasya ko’pi
neśe mahi tv avasituṁ manasāntareṇa
sākṣāt tavaiva kim utātma-sukhānubhūteḥ
I cannot truly comprehend with controlled mind the glory of this divine [four-handed] form of Yours, O Lord, which is a manifestation of Your grace on me, manifest by Your own will; it is certainly not a product of the material elements. Then how can I know Your [human-like] form, whose bliss is unknown to others, [though it is] present directly before me? (SB 10.14.2)
Comment by SND
One may then wonder why He seemed to get angry. The answer is that Bhagavān's anger is not a reaction to someone else’s mood. Bhagavān is called svecchāmaya, self-willed. He gets angry whenever He wills. He is the controller of His anger and not vice-versa. Materialistic people are under the control of their emotions, but Bhagavān uses His emotions at His will, just as He uses His senses like His hands and feet. He is not possessed by His emotions. This is the purport of the verse recited by Brahmā (10.14.2).
"traivargikāyāsa-vighātam asmat-patir vidhatte puruṣasya śakra" [bhā.pu. 6.11.23] ity-ādibhiḥ kaimutyāpātāc ca |
The impossibility of His becoming inimical to them because of the logical consequences of other statements like:
traivargikāyāsa-vighātam asmat-patir vidhatte puruṣasya śakra
tato'numeyo bhagavat-prasādo yo durlabho'kiñcana-gocaro'nyaiḥ
Our Master, O Śakra (Indra), brings ruination to His servants' efforts to attain for three goals of human life. If this happens, one can infer the grace of Bhagavān, which is impossible of attainment for any but those who have given up everything in this world. (SB 6.11.23)
Comment by SND
Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī further supports this understanding by the words of Vṛtrāsura (6.11.23). If Bhagavān is compassionate to His practicing devotees by causing events that an ordinary materialistic person would call undesirable, then why would He not be so towards His eternal associates like Jaya and Vijaya? The meaning is that He did not get angry at His doorkeepers either before or after they were born as asuras. It was a blessing on them to have a privileged role in a pastime of fighting (kautuka). Bhagavān's apparent anger was also His grace, a manifestation of His compassion, because it served to relieve them of their asuric bodies. In the material world, anger is a manifestation of rajas (Gītā 3.37). But Bhagavān is beyond the guṇas of prakṛti. His anger is also part of His intrinsic potency.
yathā coktam—"tathā na te mādhava tāvakāḥ kvacid bhraśyanti mārgāt tvayi baddha-sauhṛdāḥ" [bhā.pu. 10.2.33] iti |
Similarly, the Devas said,
bhraśyanti mārgāt tvayi baddha-sauhṛdāḥ
tvayābhiguptā vicaranti nirbhayā
vināyakānīkapa-mūrdhasu prabho ||
O Mādhava, Your devotees, who are bound to You in love, never fall from the path [like non-devotees]. Protected by You they march forward, using the heads of those who cause obstacles as stepping stones for their progress. (SB 10.2.33)
Comment by SND
Some persons think that a jīva can fall down from Vaikuṇṭha. To support their conclusion they cite the example of Jaya and Vijaya. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī writes that Jaya and Vijaya’s coming to the material world was not a falldown. He cites a verse from the prayers of the devas to mother Devakī (10.2.33) that explicitly says that devotees do not deviate from the path of bhakti, unlike the jñānīs, because their hearts are bound to Bhagavān out of love, baddha-sauhṛdāḥ. The word tathā used in this verse connects it to the preceding and compares the situation of the devotees to those transcendentalists, even jīvan-muktas in Brahman realization.
tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
O lotus-eyed Lord, others [the followers of the path of pure knowledge, unmixed with devotion] who consider themselves liberated and whose minds are impure because of a lack of devotion for You, fall down from the high position they have attained with great difficulty due to having disregarded Your lotus feet. (SB 10.2.32, Cf. BhaktiS 111)
The significance is that even if devotees do deviate, they do not do so like jñānīs. They remain devoted to Bhagavān, baddha-sauhṛdāḥ. This was seen in the examples of King Citraketu and Bharata. Even in their births as Vṛtrāsura and as a deer, they remained devoted to Bhagavān. In fact, their devotion was even more intense because of their feelings of separation.
na ca tayor eva svāparādha-bhoga-śīghra-nistārārtham api tādṛśīcchā jātā iti vācyam | tādṛśaiḥ parama-bhaktair hi bhaktiṁ vinā sālokyādikam api nāṅgīkriyate | tat-sad-bhāve nirayo’py aṅgīkriyata iti, "nātyantikaṁ vigaṇayanty api" [bhā.pu. 3.15.48] ity-ādeḥ, "kāmaṁ bhavaḥ sva-vṛjinair nirayeṣu naḥ stāt" [bhā.pu. 3.15.49] ity-ādeś ca |
It is also not proper to say that Bhagavān's desire for them [to undergo the consequences of the Kumāras' curse] was so they could speedily efface their offence [to the sages]. The reason for this is that such supreme devotees do not even accept liberation such as sālokya devoid of service, but will accept even hell if service to Bhagavān can be had there. This is understood from the Kumāras' statement:
kim vānyad arpita-bhayaṁ bhruva unnayais te
ye'ṅga tvad-aṅghri-śaraṇā bhavataḥ kathāyāḥ
kīrtanya-tīrtha-yaśasaḥ kuśalā rasa-jñāḥ
O Lord! Those who have taken shelter of Your feet, who are skillful in narrating Your stories, and who relish the aesthetic beauty of such topics, which are worthy of recitation and capable of transporting us across [the ocean of saṁsāra], do not regard even ultimate liberation as Your mercy, what to speak of any [other rewards], all of which are rendered fearful by the mere raising of Your eyebrows. (SB 3.15.48)
ceto'livad yadi nu te padayo rameta
vācaś ca nas tulasivad yadi te'ṅghri-śobhāḥ
pūryeta te guṇa-gaṇair yadi karṇa-randhraḥ
We will gladly accept birth in any hell because of our sins, if only our minds can take pleasure, like bees, in Your lotus feet, if our words may beautify Your feet, like Tulasī, and if our ears ca be filled with the glorification of Your virtues. (SB 3.15.49)
ata evābhyām api tathaiva prārthitam—
moho bhaved iha tu nau vrajator adho’dhaḥ
Therefore, these two [Jaya and Vijaya] also prayed in the same manner:
yo nau hareta sura-helanam apy aśeṣam |
mā vo’nutāpa-kalayā bhagavat-smṛti-ghno
moho bhaved iha tu nau vrajator adho’dhaḥ
But we pray that Your compassion be invoked on seeing our penitence, so that as we descend ever downward we will not be overtaken by the bewilderment that causes forgetfulness of the Lord. (SB 3.15.36)
na ca tayor vāstava-vaira-bhāve sati bhaktāntarāṇām api sukhaṁ syād iti vācyam, bhakti-svabhāva-bhakta-sauhṛda-virodhād eva | tasmāt tayor vaira-bhāvābhāsatva eva śrī-bhagavatas tayor anyeṣāṁ bhaktānām api rasodayaḥ syād iti sthitam |
It is also incorrect to say that if Jaya and Vijaya had a real feeling of animosity then other devotees would get delight, because that is contrary to the nature of devotion and to the friendly nature of a devotee. Therefore, the manifestation of rasa in Bhagavān, in them [Jaya and Vijaya,] and in other devotees would arise only if they had a semblance of the feeling of animosity.
tata evam arthāpatti-labdhaṁ sarva-bhakta-sukhada-śrī-bhagavad-abhimata-yuddha-kautukādi-sampādanārthaṁ vaira-bhāvātmaka-māyikopādhiṁ svābhāvikāṇimādi-siddhikena śuddha-sattvātmaka-sva-vigraheṇa praviśya sva-sānnidhyena cetanīkṛtya ca vilīya sthitāyā api bhakti-vāsanāyāḥ prabhāvena tatrānāviṣṭāv eva tiṣṭhataḥ |
Therefore in this way, by not finding any other explanation (arthāpatti), it is understood that in order to make possible the fighting diversion desired by Bhagavān and which gave pleasure to all the devotees, Jaya and Vijaya entered illusory (māyika) identities based on inimical feelings with their own spiritual bodies naturally equipped with mystic powers such as aṇimā, animating the illusory identity by their proximity, without becoming absorbed in them due to the influence of their feelings of devotion, though they remained hidden at that time.
Comment by SND
Some opine that when the Kumāras cursed Jaya and Vijaya, they were given the choice either to be born as devotees for seven lives or as asuras for three lives. According to them, the two doorkeepers chose to be born as asuras so that they could return to Vaikuṇṭha more quickly. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī does not accept such an explanation. The reason is that a devotee does not prefer even the greatest post without bhakti (3.29.13), so how could they possibly choose to forget Bhagavān by becoming an asura, for any reason? Even the four Kumāras, after realizing the greatness of bhakti, prayed to never forget the feet of Bhagavān even if they had to go to hell as a result of their inappropriate curse of Bhagavān's gatekeepers (3.15.49). Jaya and Vijaya also spoke in the same manner to the Kumāras (3.15.36). They happily accepted to play the role of asuras in order to give pleasure to the Lord by serving Him in His desire to enjoy the heroic mood.
ato vaira-bhāva-ja-smaraṇena vaira-bhāvo’pagata ity ubhayam api bāhyam | etad abhipretyaiva śrī-vaikuṇṭhenāpy uktam—"yātaṁ mā bhaiṣṭam astu śam" [bhā.pu. 3.16.29] iti |
Therefore, both the feeling of animosity as well as the remembrance of Bhagavān that arose out of this animosity and dispelled it were external [to their spiritual bodies]. It was with this intention that Bhagavān Viṣṇu Himself said: "Go, do not be afraid. May you be at peace." (SB 3.16.29)
yātaṁ mā bhaiṣṭam astu śam
brahma-tejaḥ samartho ’pi
hantuṁ necche mataṁ tu me
tathā hi hiraṇyākṣa-yuddhe—parānuṣaktaṁ [bhā.pu. 3.18.9] ity-ādi-padye ṭīkā ca—
pracaṇḍa-manyutvam adhikṣepādikaṁ cānukaraṇa-mātraṁ daitya-vākya-bhītānāṁ devānāṁ bhaya-nivṛttaye | vastutas tena tathānuktatvena kopādi-hetv-abhāvād ity eṣā |
"karālā" [bhā.pu. 3.19.8] iti padye ca iveti vastutaḥ krodhābhāvaḥ ity eṣā |
Similarly, in his commentary on SB 3.18.9, in the description of the battle between Hiraṇyākṣa and Varāhadeva, Svāmīpāda writes "The terrible anger and disrespect shown by Bhagavān was merely an imitation for removing the fear of the demigods who were terrified by the words of the Daityas. In reality there was no cause of anger because he [Hiranyaksa] did not say [the abusive words]." And while commenting on verse 3.19.8 also, he writes, "The words "as if" (iva) mean that in reality He felt no anger."
Commentary by SND
Next Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī explains that not only is Bhagavān's anger unlike that of materialistic people, but that Jaya and Vijaya's animosity was also not real; it only appeared to be so. This is because bhakti is eternal and once attained is never lost. This has been discussed elaborately in Bhakti Sandarbha (Anu. 1-20, 133-141).
In the later portions of Bhaki Sandarbha we saw a discussion of rāgānugā bhakti based primarily on verses from Canto Seven, chapter one, where Nārada was explaining to King Yudhiṣṭhira that the strength of emotion, whether in anger, hatred or lust, etc., resulted in one's becoming absorbed fully in consciousness of Bhagavān, and that some individuals had attained perfection through this method. The examples given there were Kaṁsa (for fear) and Śiśupāla (for hatred). Śiśupāla was the last of Jaya's three births as a demon. In the quoted passage from the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, it was stated that although Śiśupāla had seen Kr̥ṣṇa, it was not until the last moments, when he saw the Sudarśana Cakra leaving His hand that he saw Him as He is for the first time. So this important teaching that was given in Bhakti Sandarbha 318:
yathā vairānubandhena martyas tanmayatām iyāt|
na tathā bhakti-yogena iti me niścitā matiḥ ||
The absorption in Bhagavān that a mortal being can reach through being continuously bound by enmity cannot be attained by [following the regulative principles of] bhakti-yoga. This is my definite opinion. (SB 7.1.26)
It is also improper to think that other devotees would feel happy by knowing that Jaya and Vijaya have turned into real enemies of the Lord. In the material world people in general are envious of others and thus feel happy to see their peers fall down. But this does not happen in bhakti. Bhaktas feel happy when they see that Bhagavān and His devotees are happy (tat-sukhe sukhī). They have no malice in their hearts. Thus it is to be concluded that their animosity was not real.
marmāṇy abhīkṣṇaṁ pratudantaṁ duruktaiḥ
pracaṇḍa-manyuḥ prahasaṁs taṁ babhāṣe
The demon, who had a wealth of ornaments, bangles and beautiful golden armor on his body, chased the Lord from behind with a great mace. The Lord tolerated his piercing ill words, but in order to reply to him, He expressed His terrible anger. (BBT)
sañcakṣāṇo dahann iva
hato’sīty āhanad dharim
The demon, who had fearful tusks, stared at the Personality of Godhead as though to burn Him. Springing into the air, he aimed his mace at the Lord, exclaiming at the same time, “You are slain!” (BBT)
Commentary by SND
It is not possible that Jaya and Vijaya could lose their bhakti. It is also not possible that they could be separated from their spiritual bodies. Jaya and Vijaya are bhaktas with pure prīti for Bhagavān. It is not possible to lose one's prīti and become an enemy of the Lord. Thus it was said above that their animosity towards Bhagavān was not caused by the curse of Kumāras. Considering these facts the only possibility (arthāpatti) explanation of their becoming asuras is that they had another set of bodies that were material. They entered into these bodies with their spiritual bodies and brought them to life. By the will of Bhagavān they acquired the inimical mood in these bodies. It is like putting a mask on one’s face and then acting according to the person represented by mask. They did this to give Bhagavān the pleasure of fighting. Nobody except the associate of Bhagavān has the power to challenge Him to a fight. Therefore, it is His associates who play the role of His adversaries. The āsurika bodies, the feelings of enmity and absorption in Bhagavān out of those feelings, and the removal of this enmity on account of such an absorption, were all external to their spiritual forms. Since the anger of the asuras was only external, the anger of Bhagavān was also a show. This is understood from the comments of Śrīdhara Svāmī on 3.18.9 and 3.19.8, cited in the Anuccheda.