Chapter 3

Sri Bhakta-vacanamrtam - Words of Nectar from the Devotees

Anakulyasya Sankalpah - Acceptance of the Favorable

        krsna-karsnaga-sad-bhakti-, prapannatvanukulake
        krtyatva-niscayas-canu-, kulya-sankalpa ucyate

        Everything should be done that encourages the service of Sri Krsna and His devotee, and whatever is conducive to the state of exclusive surrender must be executed: such a firm conviction is called anukulyasya-sankalpah - Acceptance of the Favorable.

sri-krsna-sankirtanam eva tat padasritanam paramanukulam -
  ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-mahadavagni-nirvapanam sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhujivanam
        anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
         sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam
            Sri Sri Bhagavatas Caitanyacandrasya

Of everything favorable, Hari-sankirtana performed by souls surrendered unto the lotus feet of Lord Hari is paramount -
        "May the Sri Krsna Sankirtana be all-victorious in its pristine glory! This congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord cleanses the looking-glass of consciousness, extinguishes the raging forest fire of material existence, and spreads the benediction moonrays that cause the lotus of the heart to bloom. This chanting is the life and soul of divine consorthood. Expanding the ocean of pure ecstasy, it is the flavor of full nectar at every moment, bathing and cooling the entire self."
            - the Supreme Lord Sri Caitanyacandra

tatra sampatti-catustayam paramanukulam -
        trnad api sunicena, taror api sahisnuna
        amanina manadena, kirtaniyah sada harih

        Sri Sri Bhagavatas Caitanyacandrasya

These four jewels are accepted as the greatest treasure favorable to the performance of Hari-kirtana -
        "One who knows himself more insignificant than a blade of grass, who is as forbearing as a tree, and who gives due honor to others without desiring it for himself, is qualified to sing the glories of Lord Hari constantly."
            - the Supreme Lord Sri Caitanyacandra

karsnanam adhikaranurupa sevaiva bhajananukula -
        krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta
        diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam
        susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya
        nindadi-sunya-hrdam ipsita-sanga-labdhya
            Sri Rupapadanam
          - Sri Rupa Goswami

To render service to the devotees according to their respective qualifications is conducive to pure devotion -

        krsna saha krsna-nama abhinna janiya, aprakrta eka-matra sadhana maniya
        yei nama laya, name diksita haiya, adara karibe mane sva-gosthi janiya
        namera bhajane yei krsna-seva kare, aprakrta vraje vasi' sarvada antare
        madhyama vaisnava jani' dhara tara paya, anugatya kara tara mane ara kaya
        namera bhajane yei svarupa labhiya, anya vastu nahi dekhe krsna teyagiya
        krsnetara sambandha na paiya jagate, sarva-jane sama-buddhi kare krsna-vrate
        tadrsa bhajana-vijne janiya abhista, kaya-mano-vakye seva' haiya nivista
        susrusa karibe tanre sarvato-bhavete, krsnera carana labha haya tanha haite

        (Bengali verse by Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura)

        "Knowing Krsna and His name to be identical truth,
    one embraces exclusively the holy name's path;
        and thus who is initiated into chanting the name properly
    should be mentally respected as a member of the family.

        And he who serves Krsna by constant worship of the name,
    within his heart e'er residing at Sri Vrndavana Dhama -
        know him an intermediate devotee, make obeisance at his feet
    and keep him as a faithful friend in your thought and deed.

        And who, by internal service to the name, knows his divine identity,
    sees Krsna, only Krsna in every form and entity;
        seeing nothing separate from Krsna in the entire creation,
    he sees all souls equally serving Krsna's predilection -
        know such a veteran votary most honored and most cherished,
        serve him in thought, word, and deed, with heart's fulfillment relished:
    with obeisance, inquiry, service, him in all respects entreat -
        by the grace of such a great soul we can reach Lord Krsna's feet."
    (Bengali verse translation of instructions to an intermediate devotee)

utsahadi-guna anakulatvad adaraniyah -
        utsahan niscayad dhairyat, tat tat karma-pravartanat
        sanga-tyagat sato vrtteh, sadbhir bhaktih prasiddhyati
            Sri Rupapadanam
            - Sri Rupa Goswami

Because of their favorability, the six qualities beginning with enthusiasm should be honored -

        bhajane utsaha yara bhitare bahire, sudurllabha krsna-bhakti pabe dhire dhire
        krsna-bhakti prati yara visvasa niscaya, sraddhavan bhaktiman jana sei haya
        krsna-seva na paiya dhira-bhave yei, bhaktira sadhana kare bhaktiman sei
        yahate krsnera seva krsnera santosa, sei karme vrati sada na karaye rosa
        krsnera abhakta-jana-sanga parihari', bhaktiman bhakta-sange sada bhaje hari
        krsna-bhakta yaha kare tad anusarane, bhaktiman acaraya jivane marane
        ei chaya jana haya bhakti adhikari, visvera-mangala kare bhakti paracari
      (Bengali verse by Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura)

        "Within, without, he who serves with (1) enthusiasm
        will gradually attain to the rarest pure devotion.
        In devotion to Lord Krsna, one who has (2) firm faith
        is a person loyal and devoted on the path.
        And if Sri Krsna's service he fails to attain,
        yet practices with (3) patience - devout is such a man.
        (4) That which serves Lord Krsna, for only Krsna's pleasure,
        in such action, the devotee can never feel anger.
        (5) Abandoning the company of the non-devotee,
        ever with devotees, the devout serve Sri Hari.
        (6) Following the pure devotees' direction on the path,
        the true devout practice, as a matter of life and death.
        Who follow these six qualities qualify for pure devotion -
        they purify the universe by their preaching mission."
          (Bengali verse translation)

yukta-vairagyam evanukulam -
        yavata syat sva-nirvahah, svikuryat tavad arthavit
        adhikye nyunatayan ca, cyavate paramarthatah
            Sri Vyasapadanam

Only renunciation in devotion (yukta-vairagya) is favorable -
        "A person with genuine insight will accept only as much facility as needed to fulfill his personal necessity. Over or under acceptance of one's due measure may cause a fall from spiritual practices."
          Sri Vyasadeva

tatra krsna-sambandhasyaiva pradhanyam -
        tvayopabhukta-srag-gandha-, vaso 'lankara-carccitah
        ucchista-bhojino dasas, tava mayam jayema hi
            Srimad Uddhavasya

Within renunciation in devotion (yukta-vairagya), the foremost principle is to see everything in relationship to Lord Krsna (Krsna-sambandha-jnana) -
        "Adorned with the articles that have been offered to You, such as garlands, fragrant clothing, and ornaments, we, Your personal servitors who partake of Your holy remnants alone, will certainly be able to conquer Your illusory energy (maya)."
                  Srimad Uddhava

sarvatha hari-smrti-raksanam eva tatparyam -
        alabdhe va vinaste va, bhaksyacchadana-sadhane
        aviklava-matir bhutva, harim eva dhiya smaret
            Sri Vyasapadanam

The fundamental objective is to maintain constant remembrance of Sri Hari in every time, place and circumstance -
        "If persons engaged in the devotional service of Lord Hari are unable to obtain food and shelter despite their attempts, or if their acquisitions are lost or destroyed, they should, without anxiety, absorb their hearts deeply in the thought of Lord Hari."
    Sri Vyasadeva

sarvatra tad anukampa darsanad eva tat-siddhih -
        tat te 'nukampam susamiksamano
        bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
        hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
        jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak
          Sri Brahmanah

This is accomplished only when one can see the grace of the Supreme Lord in every situation -
        "One who, in the hope of achieving Your grace, goes on enduring the inauspicious fruit of his own karma, and passes his days practicing devotion unto You in every thought, word, and deed - such a person is heir to the land of freedom: he attains to the plane of positive immortality."
            Lord Brahma

sadhu-sangat sarvam eva sulabham -
        tulayama lavenapi, na svargam napunar-bhavam
        bhagavat-sangi-sangasya, martyanam kim utasisah
            Sri Saunakadinam

Only by the association of pure devotees (sadhu-sanga) is everything happily achieved -
        "The attainment of heaven or liberation cannot even slightly compare with the immeasurable fortune gained by the association of an associate of the Supreme Lord. What, then, can be said of the petty dominion and assets of mortal men?"
        - the sages of Naimisaranya, headed by Saunaka Rsi

guru-padasraya eva mukhyah -
        tasmad gurum prapadyeta, jijnasuh sreyah uttamam
        sabde pare ca nisnatam, brahmany upasamasrayam
              Sri Prabuddhasya

Of all sadhu-sanga, the foremost is the service of the lotus feet of the bona fide Spiritual Master or Sad-guru -
        "Thus, a person in search of the ultimate good should surrender to the Guru who knows well the Vedic scriptures (Sabda-brahman) and the Supreme Absolute Lord (Para-brahman), and for whom the mundane world holds no charm whatsoever."
    Sri Prabuddha

tatra siksa-seva-phalaptis ca -
        tatra bhagavatan dharman, siksed gurvatma-daivatah
        amayayanuvrttya yais-, tusyed atmatmado harih
            Sri Prabuddhasya

At the lotus feet of that Sad-guru, divine relationship, practice, and objective (sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana) are all achieved -
        "Those divine practices of pure devotional service that please the Self-giving Sri Hari (who gives Himself to His devotees) will be learned by continuously serving such a Guru with full sincerity, knowing him to be one's dearmost well-wishing friend and the supremely worshipful embodiment of Sri Hari."
                  Sri Prabuddha

tadiyaradhanam parama-phaladam -
        maj-janmanah phalam idam madhu-kaitabhare
        mat prarthaniya mad anugraha esa eva
        tvad bhrtya-bhrtya-paricaraka-bhrtya-bhrtya
        bhrtyasya bhrtyam iti mam smara lokanatha
          Sri Kulasekharasya

Devotional service rendered to the devotee bestows the highest fruit -
        "O Supreme Lord of all beings, O slayer of the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, this is the purpose of my life, this is my prayer, and this is Your grace - that You will remember me as Your servant, a servant of a servant of a Vaisnava, a servant of a servant of such a servant of a servant of a Vaisnava, and a servant of a servant of the servant of a servant of a Vaisnava's servant's servant."
                Sri Kulasekhara

tadiya-sevanam na hi tuccham -
        jnanavalambakah kecit, kecit karmavalambakah
        vayam tu hari-dasanam, padatranavalambakah
              Sri Desikacaryasya

Service to the Lord's devotee is not a trifling matter -
        "Some people take shelter in the path of action (karma) while others take shelter in the path of knowledge (jnana). But as far as we are concerned, we have chosen the sandals of the servants of Lord Hari as the only refuge."
            Sri Desikacarya

asmad ananya-nistha -
        tyajantu bandhavah sarve, nindantu guravo janah
        tathapi paramanando, govindo mama jivanam
            Sri Kulasekharasya

Exclusive dedication is born from service to the devotees -
        "My friends may forsake me and my (traditional) teachers may denounce me, but the light of my life will always be Sri Govinda, the personification of divine ecstasy."
Sri Kulasekhara

aprakrta-raty-udayas ca -
        yat tad vadantu sastrani, yat tad vyakhyantu tarkikah
        jivanam mama caitanya-, padambhoja-sudhaiva tu
            Sri Prabodhanandapadanam

Supramundane attachment also develops -
        "The Scriptures may say whatever they have to say (in their various areas of jurisdiction), and the expert logicians may interpret them as they wish. But as far as I am concerned, the sweet nectar of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanyacandra is my life and soul."
Sri Prabodhananda Saraswati

sadhya-seva-sankalpah -
        bhavantam evanucaran nirantarah
        kadaham aikantika-nitya-kinkarah
        praharsayisyami sanatha-jivitam
          Sri Yamunacaryasya

An earnest aspiration to achieve perfection in devotional service -
        "When will I bloom in a life of servitude as Your eternal devotee, my heart pacified due to all other desires being consumed by engagement in Your uninterrupted service?"
      Sri Yamunacarya

parikara-siddher-akanksa -
        sakrt tvad akara vilokanasaya
        mahatmabhir mam avalokyatam naya
        ksane 'pi te yad viraho 'ti duhsahah
        Sri Yamunacaryasya

The aspiration to attain to the perfection of becoming an associate servitor of the Lord -
        "O my Lord, please lead me into the glance of those great devotees who, in their heart's aspiration to only once behold Your divine form, consider sense enjoyment and liberation to be like straw, and whose separation is unbearable for even You."
Sri Yamunacarya

nirupadhika-bhakti-svarupopalabdhih -
        bhaktis tvayi sthiratara bhagavan yadi syat
        daivena nah phalati divya-kisora-murtih
        muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate 'sman
        dharmartha-kama-gatayah samaya-pratiksah
            Sri Bilvamangalasya

The realization of the nature of unconditional devotion -
        "O Supreme Lord, if our devotion for You were more steadfast, Your adolescent form would naturally arise (appear) within our hearts. Then (there would not be the slightest necessity to pray for the triple pursuits of religiosity, gain, and sensual desire [dharma, artha, kama], and their negation in the form of liberation [mukti], because) mukti will personally attend us (as a concomitant subsidiary fruit of devotion, in the form of deliverance from ignorance), her hands cupped in prayer (like a preordained maidservant); and the fruits of bhukti (transitory pleasure culminating in attainment of heaven) will eagerly await their orders (from us, should any necessity arise for them in the service of Your lotus feet)."
                Sri Bilvamangala Thakura

vraja-rasa-sresthatvam -
        srutim apare smrtim itare bharatam anye bhajantu bhava-bhitah
        aham iha nandam vande yasyalinde param brahma
              Sri Raghupati Upadhyayasya

The superexcellence of devotion in the mood of Vrndavana -
        "Of persons afraid of material existence, some worship the Sruti Scriptures (Vedas), some worship the Smrti Scriptures (supplementary Religious Codes), and others worship the Mahabharata. But as far as I am concerned, I worship Sri Nanda Maharaja, in whose courtyard the Supreme Absolute Truth is playing."
                Sri Raghupati Upadhyaya

tatra bhajana-paddhatih -
        smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
        tisthan vraje tad anuragi-jananugami
        kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-sarah
        Sri Rupa Goswami

The path to devotion in the Vrndavana conception -

        krsna nama-rupa-guna-lila catustaya, guru-mukhe sunilei kirtana udaya
  kirtita haile krame smarananga paya, kirtana smarana-kale krama-pathe dhaya jata-ruci-jana jihva mana milaiya, krsna-anuraga vraja-jananusmariya
        nirantara vraja-vasa manasa bhajana, ei upadesa-sara karaha grahana
        (Bengali verse by Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura)

        "When Krsna's name, form, nature, and pastimes divine,
    are heard from Sri Gurudeva, one's heart awakes in song.
        As pure chanting ensues, remembrance is attained;
    thus chanting and remembering, step-by-step ascent is gained.

        Those engaging tongue and mind, who begin to relish nectar:
    adore Sri Krsna, following the residents of Vraja.
        Reside always in Vraja, within the heart's devotion . . .
    surely, you must accept this nectar of instruction."
            (Bengali verse translation)

vraja-bhajana-taratamyanubhutih -
        vaikunthaj janito vara madhu-puri tatrapi rasotsavad-
        vrndaranyam udara-pani-ramanat tatrapi govardhanah
        radha-kundam ihapi gokula-pateh premamrtaplavanat
        kuryyad asya virajato giri-tate sevam viveki na kah

              Sri Rupapadanam
            Sri Rupa Goswami

The comparative ontological conception of devotion in Vrndavana -

        vaikuntha haite srestha mathura nagari,
    janama labhila yatha krsnacandra hari
        mathura haite srestha vrndavana dhama,
    yatha sadhiyache hari rasotasava-kama
        vrndavana haite srestha govardhana-saila
    giridhari-gandharvika yatha krida kaila
        govardhana haite srestha radha-kunda-tata
    premamrte bhasaila gokula lampata
        govardhana giri-tata radha-kunda chadi'
    anyatra ye kare nija kunja puspa-badi
        nirbbodha tahara sama keha nahi ara
    kunda-tira sarvottama sthana - premadhara
        (Bengali verse by Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura)

        "Higher than Vaikuntha is Mathura city,
    since there occurred the Advent of Sri Krsnacandra Hari.
        Better than Mathura is Vrndavana, the holy place
    where Lord Hari enjoyed the joyous dance of amorous grace.
        Above Vrndavana Dhama is Govardhana Hill,
    the lifter of the Hill, and His Consort, there did intimately revel.
        Even higher than Govardhana Hill is the banks of Radha-kunda
    that the Sweetheart of Gokula overfloods sweet love abound.
        Who would select for his worship, any other place,
    disregarding this sacred pond at Govardhana's base?
        Such a foolish fellow surely can't be found!
    The highest abode of love divine is the banks of Radha-kunda."
                (Bengali verse translation)

vraja-rasa-svarupa-siddhau sambandha-jnanodaya-prakarah -
        gurau gosthe gosthalayisu sujane bhu-suragane
        sva-mantre sri-namni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-sarane
        sada dambham hitva kuru ratim apurvam atitaram
        aye svantar bhratas catubhir abhiyace dhrta-padah
            Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami

The proper approach to realize one's eternally perfect divine identity in the Vrndavana mellow of devotion -

        gurudeve, vraja-vane, vraja-bhumi-vasi jane,
    suddha-bhakte, ara vipra-gane
        ista-mantre, hari-name, yugala bhajana kame,
    kara rati apurva yatane
    dhari mana carane tomara -
        janiyachi ebe sara, krsna-bhakti vina ara,
    nahi ghuce jivera samsara
        karma, jnana, tapah, yoga, sakalai ta karma-bhoga,
    karma chadaite keha nare
        sakala chadiya bhai, sraddha-devira guna gai,
        yanra krpa bhakti dite pare
        chadi' dambha anuksana, smara asta-tattva mana,
    kara tahe niskapata rati
        sei rati prarthanaya, sri-dasa-gosvami paya,
    e bhakativinoda kare nati
      (Bengali verse by Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura)

        "(1) The Divine Master (2) Sri Vrndavana
        (3) The residents of Sri Vrndavana
        (4) The pure Vaisnavas (5) The brahmana section
        (6) The worshipful mantra (7) The holy name
        (8) A yearning to serve the Couple Divine:
    adore these eight with utmost dedication.
    O dear mind, I implore thee at thy feet -
        Already we have learned the essence:
        nothing but Lord Krsna's service
    dispels the soul's illusory experience.

        Duty, knowledge, penance, meditation -
        all are really exploitation:
    none can free us from action and reaction;

        Cast them all aside, O my brother,
        sing the glory of good faith, our mother
    whose grace alone bestows pure devotion.

        Banish your pride forever,
        O my mind, your eight goals remember:
    adore them with a heart that is sincere.

        Aspiring for that devoted heart,
        at Sri Dasa Goswami's feet
    this Bhaktivinoda makes his prayer."
          (Bengali verse translation)

namabhinna-vraja-bhajana-prarthana -
        aghadamana-yasodanandanau nanda-suno
        kamalanayana-gopicandra -vrndavanendrah
        pranatakaruna-krsnav ity aneka-svarupe
        tvayi mama ratir uccair varddhatam nama-dheya
            Sri Rupapadanam

A prayer to taste the nectar of devotion in Vrndavana (Vraja-rasa), nondifferent from serving the holy name in pure devotion (nama bhajana) -
        "O Aghadamana, O Yasodanandana, O Nandasuno, O Kamala-nayana, O Gopicandra, O Vrndavanendra, O Pranatakaruna, O Krsna - You have appeared in many divine forms, such as these. Therefore, O Lord, who are known by these holy names, kindly let my fondness for You flourish."
            Sri Rupa Goswami

parama-siddhi-sankalpah -
        kadaham yamuna-tire, namani tava kirtayan
        udbaspah pundarikaksa, racayisyami tandavam

Divine aspiration in separation is favorable to perfection -
        "O lotus-eyed Lord, when will I dance on the banks of the Yamuna, chanting Your holy name with tears in my eyes?"

vipralambhe milana-siddhau nama-bhajananukulyam -
        nayanam galad-asru-dharaya, vadanam gad-gada-ruddhaya gira
        pulakair nicitam vapuh kada, tava nama-grahane bhavisyati
            Sri Sri Bhagavatas Caitanyacandrasya

Serving the holy name in pure devotion (nama-bhajana) in the pain of separation is favorable to achieve union with the Lord -
        "O Lord, when will my eyes be adorned with tears of love, flowing like waves? When will my words choke with ecstasy, and when will the hairs of my body stand erect while chanting Your holy name?"
          - the Supreme Lord Sri Caitanyacandra

iti sri-prapanna-jivanamrte
anukulyasya-sankalpo nama trtiyo 'dhyayah

thus ends the third chapter
Acceptance of the Favorable - Words of Nectar from the Devotees
Life-Nectar of the Surrendered Souls
Positive and Progressive Immortality



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