Bhakti Sandarbha 331-332: Worship of Kṛṣṇa is Superior to That of Paramātmā

Anucchedas 331-332: 

Worship of Kṛṣṇa is Superior to That of Paramātmā

ततश्च (भा. ११.२९.१३-१४)—

इति सर्वाणि भूतानि मद्भावेन महाद्युते।
सभाजयन् मन्यमानो ज्ञानं केवलमाश्रितः॥
ब्राह्मणे पुक्कसे स्तेने ब्रह्मण्येऽर्के स्फुलिङ्गके।
अक्रूरे क्रूरके चैव समदृक् पण्डितो मतः॥

Thereafter, Śrī Kṛṣṇa said:

My dear effulgent Uddhava, one who thus taking recourse to non-dual knowledge, honors all living beings, perceiving My presence in them all, and who thus regards with equal vision a brāhmaṇa or an outcaste, a thief or one devoted to the brāhmaṇas, the sun or a mere spark, one of tender heart or a cruel person, is understood to be wise. (SB 11.29.13-14)

केवलं ज्ञानमन्तर्यामिदृष्टिमाश्रितोऽपि। इति पूर्वोक्तप्रकारेण सर्वाणि भूतानि मद्भावेन तेषु मम श्रीकृष्णरूपस्य यो भावोऽस्तित्वं तद्विशिष्टतया मन्यमानः सभाजयन् पण्डितो मतः। मद्दृष्ट्या ब्राह्मणादिषु समदृक् समं मामेव पश्यतीति॥

"Taking recourse to non-dual knowledge" means to take shelter of a vision of the Indwelling Supreme Self within everything. "Thus" means as described in the previous verses. “My presence” (mad-bhāvena) means accepting that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is present within all living beings in His own form and honors them because of this qualification is understood to be wise. With this vision of Bhagavān, such a person sees the brāhmaṇa and all others equally, which means that he sees Kṛṣṇa alone in all variety of bodies.

ततश्च "नरेष्वभीक्ष्णम्" (भा. ११.२९.१५) इत्यादिना तादृशस्वोपासनाविशेषस्य झटिति स्पर्धादिक्षयलक्षणं फलमुक्त्वा, "विसृज्य" (भा. ११.२९.१६) इत्यादिना, तथादृष्टसाधनं सर्वनमस्कारमुपदिश्य, "यावत्" (भा. ११.२९.१७) इत्यादिना, तादृशोपासनाया अवधिं च सर्वत्र स्वतः स्वस्फूर्तिमुक्त्वा, "सर्वं" (भा. ११.२९.१८) इत्यादिना—

After this Śrī Kṛṣṇa describes in the next verse the result of this specific type of worship of Him, which is the quick destruction of the spirit of rivalry and other impurities.

When a person incessantly meditates on My presence within all human beings, his rivalry with others, envy and fault-finding, along with self-conceit, surely and quickly disappear. (SB 11.29.15)

Then in the verse following that one, Kṛṣṇa recommends offering obeisance to all, which is a way of putting into practice the vision discussed in the previous verses:

Being unconcerned even with his own associates who jeer at him, abandoning all prejudice based on bodily identity, and giving up all sense of shame, he should fall on the ground like a stick, offering obeisance even to a dog, an outcaste, a cow and a donkey. (SB 11.29.16)

Then in the next verse Kṛṣṇa describes that this type of worship should be continued until one develops a spontaneous vision of Him everywhere:

One should continue to worship Me in this manner through the faculties of one’s speech, mind and body until one realizes My existence in all beings. (SB 11.29.17)

Following this, Kṛṣṇa describes the result of such a vision, which is the fact that the ever new perception of Him within all things is itself the realization of Brahman, the Absolute:

By the awareness that ensues from this vision of God within everything, one perceives this entire world as nothing but a manifestation of Brahman, the Absolute. Being thus freed from all doubt, such a person should cease from all endeavor. (SB 11.29.18)

नव्यवद्धृदये यज्ज्ञो ब्रह्मैतद्ब्रह्मवादिभिः।
न मुह्यन्ति न शोचन्ति न हृष्यन्ति यतो गताः॥ (भा. ४.३०.२०)

The same conclusion was expressed in this statement of Bhagavān to the Pracetas:

Because such householders are fully engaged in hearing topics about Me, I, being fully omniscient, manifest in ever new varieties within their hearts. This form of Mine is called Brahman by the knowers of the Veda, because having thus attained Me, such persons are no longer subject to delusion, grief or jubilation. (SB 4.30.20)

इति प्रचेतसः प्रति श्रीभगवद्वाक्ये तट्टीकायां च तस्य भगवतः प्रतिपदनव्यस्फूर्तिरेव ब्रह्मेतीति यदुक्तं, तदेव तत् फलमित्युक्त्वा,

Śrīdhara Svāmī confirms the same in his commentary on this verse: “The knowers of the Vedas say that when I, the omniscient Bhagavān, appear in ever new varieties within the hearts of such listeners as a result of their hearing topics about Me, it is direct realization of the Absolute, known as Brahman.”

यद्वा, "कथमस्यावतारस्य ब्रह्मता भवति ?" (गो.ता.उ. २.२८) इति गोपालतापनीप्रसिद्धब्रह्मेत्यभिधाननराकृति-परब्रह्मरूपस्फूर्तिस्तत्फलमित्युक्त्वा, तेनैव तादृशोपासनां सर्वोर्ध्वमपि प्रशंसति (भा. ११.२९.१९)—

Alternatively, the word Brahman in that verse [11.29.18] refers to the Para-brahman, the Supreme Absolute in human form, who is well known by that name in the Gopāla Tāpanī Upaniṣad: “How does this avatāra have the nature of Brahman?” (GTU 2.28)

After thus describing this spontaneous perception of the Param Brahman with human form as being the outcome of meditating on Him within all living beings, Kṛṣṇa glorifies this method of worship as topmost:

अयं हि सर्वकल्पानां सध्रीचीनो मतो मम।
मद्भावः सर्वभूतेषु मनोवाक्कायवृत्तिभिः॥

I consider this process of meditating on My existence within all living beings through the faculties of one’s mind, speech and body, to be the best of all sacred precepts. (SB 11.29.19)

सर्वकल्पानां सर्वोपायानां सध्रीचीनः समीचीनः। मद्भावो मम श्रीकृष्णरूपस्य भावना।

"Of all sacred precepts" (sarva-kalpānām) means of all spiritual means or practices; and sadhrīcīnaḥ means, “the best.” "Meditating on My existence" (mad-bhāvaḥ) means to contemplate Me in My form as Śrī Kṛṣṇa [within all beings].

एतच्च श्रीकृष्णभजनस्यान्तर्यामिभजनादप्याधिक्यं श्रीगीतोपसंहारानुसारेण एवोक्तम्—

And such service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa is superior even to that of the Supreme Immanent Self dwelling within all living beings, as stated in the concluding portion of the Gītā:

ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति।
भ्रामयन् सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया॥६१

O Arjuna, Īśvara [the Immanent Supreme Person] resides in the hearts of all beings. By His external energy, He is causing all of them to revolve [through cycles of creation, maintenance and destruction] as if they were riding upon a machine. (Gītā 18.61)

तमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत।
तत्प्रसादात् परां शान्तिं स्थानं प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम्॥६२

O Bhārata, take shelter of Him alone with your entire being. By His grace you shall attain supreme peace and the eternal abode. (Gītā 18.62)

इति ते ज्ञानमाख्यातं गुह्याद्गुह्यतरं मया।
विमृश्यैतदशेषेण यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु॥६३

I have thus explained to you this wisdom, which is more secret than secrecy itself. Deliberate on it fully and then do as you like. (Gītā 18.63)

सर्वगुह्यतमं भूयः शृणु मे परमं वचः।
इष्टोऽसि मे दृढमिति ततो वक्ष्यामि ते हितम्॥६४

But listen again to My supreme instruction, which is the biggest secret of all. You are extremely dear to Me, and therefore I shall disclose this for your benefit. (Gītā 18.64)

मन्मना भव मद्भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु।
मामेवैष्यसि सत्यं ते प्रतिजाने प्रियोऽसि मे॥६५

Fix your mind on Me, devote yourself lovingly to Me, worship Me and bow in obeisance to Me. By doing so, you will certainly come to Me. I promise you this because you are dear to Me. (Gītā 18.65)

सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज।
अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः॥ (गीता १८.६१-६६) इति।

Completely forsaking all your prescribed and conventional duties, take refuge only in Me. I shall liberate you from all sins, do not grieve. (Gītā 18.66)

अत्र च गुह्यं पूर्वाध्यायोक्तं ज्ञानम्। गुह्यतरमन्तर्यामिज्ञानम्। सर्वगुह्यतमं तन्मनस्त्वादिलक्षणं तदेकशरणत्वलक्षणं च तदुपासनमिति समानम्।

In these verses the words "secret wisdom” (guhyam) refers to the knowledge spoken of in the previous chapters. “Even more secret than that” (guhyataram) indicates knowledge of the Supreme indwelling Self; and “the most secret of all wisdoms” (sarva-guhyatamam) signifies the worship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which has been characterized as fixing one's mind exclusively on Him [described in 18.65] and as complete dedication of the self to Him alone [described in 18.66 above]. Both of these practices are effectively the same.

एवं श्रीगीतास्वेव नवमाध्यायेऽपि (गीता ९.१)—

इदं तु ते गुह्यतमं प्रवक्ष्याम्यनसूयवे।
ज्ञानं विज्ञानसहितं यज्ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात्॥

Similarly, in the ninth chapter of the Gītā, Bhagavān said:

I shall now explain to you who are devoid of envy this most secret knowledge along with the practical means by which it can be realized. Knowing this, you shall become free from all inauspicousness. (Gītā 9.1)

"राजविद्या राजगुह्यम्" (गीता ९.२) इत्यादिना वक्ष्यमानार्थं प्रशस्य श्रीकृष्णरूपस्वभजनश्रद्धाहीनान् निन्दंस्तच्छ्रद्धावतः प्रशस्तवान् स्वयमेव। यथा—


This knowledge is the king of all teachings, the chief of all secrets, completely pure, and the highest. It is understood by direct perception, is the fulfillment of all religion, is easy to practice and yields imperishable results. (Gītā 9.2)

In this last verse, after praising the knowledge He is about to describe, Bhagavān Himself honors those who have faith in Him while reproaching those who lack the faith to worship Him in His form as Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the following verses:

अवजानन्ति मां मूढा मानुषीं तनुमाश्रितम्।
परं भावमजानन्तो मम भूतमहेश्वरम्॥

The deluded disrespect Me when I assume a human-like form, not knowing My supreme nature as the great regulator of all beings. (Gītā 9.11)

मोघाशा मोघकर्माणो मोघज्ञाना विचेतसः।
राक्षसीमासुरीं चैव प्रकृतिं मोहिनीं श्रिताः॥

The hopes, activities and knowledge of such bewildered persons are all in vain, for they have adopted the natures of the demoniac, the fiendish and the deluded. (Gītā 9.12)

महात्मानस्तु मां पार्थ दैवीं प्रकृतिमाश्रिताः।
भजन्त्यनन्यमनसो ज्ञात्वा भूतादिमव्ययम्॥ (गीता ९.११-१३) इति।

But the great souls, O Arjuna, who have embraced the divine nature, worship Me with minds exclusively fixed on Me, knowing Me as the origin of all beings and as the imperishable. (Gītā 9.13)

मामव अनादरेण मानुषीं तनुमाश्रितं जानन्ति इत्यर्थः। तस्मात् सर्वान्तर्यामिभजनादप्युत्तमत्वेन तदनन्तरं च सर्वगुह्यतममित्यत्र सर्वग्रहणात् सर्वत उत्तमत्वेन श्रीकृष्णभजने सिद्धे तदवतारभजनात् सुतरामेवोत्तमता सिध्यति।

In the first verse in this series the verb avajānanti, “they disrespect,” means that they consider Kṛṣṇa to have a human body and thus they disregard Him. So because the worship of Kṛṣṇa is superior even to the worship of the Supreme Indwelling Self, and because the worship of Kṛṣṇa has been proven as the highest of all by use of the word sarva in sarva-guhyatamam, “the most secret of all” (Gītā 18.64), it is definitely concluded that the worship of Kṛṣṇa is superior to the worship of all other avatāras.

Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji

In these two anucchedas Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī continues to discuss Kṛṣṇa’s recommendation to respect His presence in every being. This practice makes one free of envy, rivalry, pride and disrespect. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī cites a similar instruction given by Bhagavān Viṣṇu to the Pracetas (4.30.20). The word Brahman in that verse refers to the personal form of Bhagavān and not to the all-pervading impersonal aspect. This is supported by the Gopāla Tāpanī Upaniṣad which refers to the human form of Kṛṣṇa as para-brahman or the Supreme Brahman.

Coming to realize Kṛṣṇa’s presence in all beings is the highest achievement. This is also the meaning of the ultimate conclusion given by Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad Gītā. There Kṛṣṇa uses three words for secretive knowledge, namely, guhya, guhyatara and guhyatama, secret, more secret and most secret. According to Jīva Gosvāmī these three words refer to the knowledge related to Brahman, Paramātmā, and Bhagavān respectively. The adjective sarva in sarva-guhyatamam (in 18.64) indicates that the form of Kṛṣṇa is the most secret among all of Bhagavān's forms. This is a brilliant synthesis of the Gītā together with Bhāgavata Purāṇa done by Jīva Gosvāmī. The same topic was also discussed in Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha (Anuccheda 82).


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