The Caitanya tradition, being based squarely on the Bhāgavata purāṇa, has a different understanding of bhakti as compared to other Vaisnava traditions such as the Madhva tradition or the Śrī Vaisnava tradition. Unlike these other traditions, in the Caitanya tradition, bhakti and varṇāśrama are two different or distinct paths with different outcomes/destinations. Here I explore Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī’s commentary on Bhagavad Gītā 18.66 that makes this point clear.
Śrī Babaji’s translation of the verse is below.
sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
parityajya — abandoning completely; sarva-dharmān — all [attachment to] conventional duties; vraja — seek; śaraṇam — refuge; mām — [in] Me; ekam — alone; aham — I; mokṣayiṣyāmi — will free; tvām — you; sarva-pāpebhyaḥ — from all sins; mā — do not; śucaḥ — grieve.
Abandoning completely all [attachment to] conventional duties, seek refuge in Me alone. I will free you from all sins; do not grieve.
Consistent with Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī’s commentary, Śrī Babaji has translated the word sarva-dharmān as “all conventional duties”. I present Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī’s commentary and my translation of it below. He begins by imagining a question on Arjuna’s part –
nanu tad-dhyānādikaṁ yat karomi tat kiṁ svāśrama-dharmānuṣṭhāna-pūrvakaṁ vā, kevalaṁ vā ?
Should I perform meditation and other items [which Śrī Kṛṣṇa recommended in the previous verse] accompanied by performance of the dharmas appropriate for my āśrama, or should I perform them exclusively?
[In response to Arjuna’s question, Śrī Kṛṣṇa replies]
tatrāha sarva-dharmān varṇāśrama-dharmān sarvān eva parityajya ekaṁ mām eva śaraṇaṁ vraja |
Completely giving up all varṇāśrama-dharmas [sarva-dharmān], take shelter of me alone.
He then explains how to interpret the word parityajya. I will not provide a full translation, as this part is somewhat peripheral to the matter at hand. According to Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī, parityajya does not indicate the giving up of fruits of action (as in karma yoga) but rather not performing the actions themselves. This is because this final instruction of the Gita must be in harmony with the Bhāgavata purāṇa, and also because of the use of the prefix ‘pari’ in parityajya, which indicates complete giving up of other dharmas. In the Bhāgavata purāṇa, there are several verses which explain that the adhikāra for karma ceases for a person who has developed faith in bhakti. He cites SB 11.5.41, 11.29.32, 11.20.9, 11.11.37, with which there must be harmony of meaning (sahaikārthasyāvaśya-vyākhyeyatvāt) of 18.66.
Based on this, he interprets the instruction in verse 18.66 as follows:
ekaṁ māṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja = seek refuge in Me alone, + na tu dharma-jñāna-yoga-devatāntarādikam = and not varṇāśrama dharma, jñāna, yoga, and other devatās.
Now, many traditions find the interpretation of giving up varṇāśrama-dharma to be an outrageous stretch. After all, Śrī Bhagavān Himself has enjoined varṇāśrama-dharma both in the Bhagavad Gītā and other scriptures like the Vedas. Isn’t it an offense to give it up? Giving up nitya or naimittika karma can cause the accrual of sin as they are enjoined by the Vedas themselves for every person who is within the varṇāśrama fold.
Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī answers this doubt as follows:
na ca mad-ājñayā nitya-naimittika-karma-tyāge tava pratyavāya-śaṅkā sambhavet |
One should not doubt that following my order to give up nitya-naimittika-karma will cause one to accrue sin.
He gives the reasoning:
veda-rūpeṇa mayaiva nitya-karmānuṣṭhānam ādiṣṭam adhunā tu svarūpeṇaiva tat-tyāga ādiśyate ity ataḥ kathaṁ te nitya-karmākaraṇe pāpāni sambhavanti ?
The nitya karmas [part of varṇāśrama-dharma] are enjoined by me only in the form of the Vedas. Now, I myself am recommending that they be given up completely (svarūpeṇaiva). So how can there be sin due to not performing these dharmas?
He finally adds a rather startling piece of insight:
pratyuta ataḥ paraṁ nitya-karmāṇi kṛta eva pāpāni bhaviṣyanti sākṣān mad-ājñā-laṅghanād ity avadheyam |
In fact, after this instruction of mine, sins will accrue if nitya-karmas are performed, because of transgressing my [final] order.
That is, anyone who dabbles in varṇāśrama-dharma, even after taking up bhakti, is disobeying Śrī Kṛṣṇa ‘s order. One cannot hope to please Him this way.
It is equally crucial to understand verse SB 11.20.9, in which the call is to continue in varṇāśrama-dharma so long as one does not develop faith in bhakti. After one develops faith in bhakti, one loses the right to varṇāśrama-dharma. The commentary to SB 11.20.9 by both Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī and Śrī Jīva Goswami make this amply clear. I might take that commentary up in a future post if there is interest expressed by readers.
Given all this, the current claims prevalent in some sects of the Caitanya tradition, that bhakti cannot be performed without varṇāśrama-dharma, are incorrect. Further, the confusion caused by mixing of varṇāśrama-dharma with bhakti contradicts the crystal clear and unique explanations of the Goswamis and Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī, and befuddles sādhakas. Separation of bhakti and varṇāśrama is in fact part of the very definition of bhakti given by Sri Rūpa Goswami. This definition of bhakti is one of the defining features of the Caitanya tradition.
In the understanding of the Caitanya tradition, varṇāśrama and bhakti are two separate paths with separate results. A person who is on the bhakti path, does not have the adhikāra for varṇāśrama, and vice versa. When a bhakta continues to maintain faith in varṇāśrama, he gets the fault of disobeying Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s instruction to give them up.
But if anybody will leave varnashram dharma how the society will run. Varnashram is created to manage the society properly. It will be a chaos if people start leaving their varnashram duties.
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True. So in practice one should not disturb society and externally perform varnasrsma duties but without maintaining faith in them independently of Bhakti.
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However there is no varnasrama system to speak of left in India except in small pockets where it is still properly practiced. So for practical purposes there is not much option anyway. So it’s a good thing that Bhakti is not dependent on that social structure.
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This is the dumbest argument possible especially in our modern age. As someone who has the label of “Brahmin” myself, I can attest that the Varnavyavastha that you’re talking about is practically nonexistent in 99% of society and those who are actually still practicing it as their ancestor’s did 2 or 3 centuries ago are the ones who are considered these days as the “disturbances to society”! It’s also counterproductive to Hindu unity and the imperative to form a Hindu Rashtra so please update your thinking to fit the facts on the ground instead of merely regurgitating phrases that you’ve read mindlessly.
I appreciate your points but please be civil. I would like people to be able to ask questions without fear of criticism.
Understood. I’ll be more temperate in my replies in future. I just get so angry when I see people trying to divide Hindus on the basis of caste but hey, your site, your rules.
Vishwanath Chakravartipada’s commentary to the Bhagavad Gita is the most beautifully Soul stirring one ever composed in the history of Sanatana Dharma. Thanks TK Das ji for highlighting this important point which is timely for Hinduism today.
वर्णाश्रमाचारवता पुरुषेण परः पुमान्
विष्णुर् आरार्ध्यते पन्था नान्यत् तत्तोषकारणम् ॥ इति विष्णु पुराणे ३.८.९ ॥ How to reconcile the statements like this “…………… Factually, other than the execution of varṇāśrama, there is no way to please Śrī Viṣṇu”.
The Bhagavata purana is the supreme pramana, and it over-rides other pramanas. This is explained in the Tattva Sandarbha. I already mentioned in the article that Krsna’s own order to follow karma yoga is nullified by his final instruction.
I have one query do Vedas talk about “Bhakti” ?
If by Vedas you mean Rg,Sama, Yajur and Atharva, to some extent they do. Upanisads are mainly concerned with jnana. Gita and puranas teach bhakti more explicitly.
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मत्कर्म कुर्वतां पुंसां क्रियालोपो भवेद् यदि
तेषां कर्माणि कुर्वन्ति तिस्रं कोट्यो महर्षयः ॥ इति पद्म पुराणे ॥
If one who is acting on My behalf or who is performing My devotional service is unable to execute any prescribed duty, three hundred million great sages who are expert in the Vedas are appointed to complete that karma.
यस्मिन् ज्ञाते न कुर्वन्ति कर्म चैव श्रुतीरितम्
निरेषणा जगन्मित्राः शुद्धं ब्रह्म नमामि तम् ॥ इति पद्म पुराणे ॥ (prayers by Devadyuti)
Those who realize that Parabrahman do not need to perform material duties. Giving up all desires and maintaining a mood of friendship towards all the living beings of this world, they worship the Lord. I offer obeisances to that Supreme Brahman.
— Quoted by Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmīpāda (Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā)
After reading modern Gaudiya tikas to the srimad bhagavtam I was surprised how little the six goswamis mention Varnashrama dharma in their writings. At one point I was told spreading Varnashrama dharma was Mahaprabhus mission.
Although six goswamis didn’t mention about varnashrama dharma but those who live in society should follow its rule and varnashrama is a system established by scriptures to manage the society. No authentic Gaudiya acharya transgressed varnashrama dharma ever. Gadadhar Pandit is famous for following varnashrama dharma as mentioned in Caitanya Caritamrta.
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Are Hrishikeshji, varnashrama is not extant in society anymore. Baat ko samajhne ka prayas kijiye!
Varnashrama involves complex lifestyles that are infeasible in the modern age. How many people do you know who are doing agnihotra everyday? How many people do you know who do darsa-paurnamasa yajnas? It is easy to say, follow varnashrama. First we need to understand what varnasrama is- a complex and intricate network of nitya, naimittika and kamya karmas. And who is qualified for it today? Plus anyone born outside India is not qualified for varnashrama, as you have to be born in the system.
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As far as I can tell there is no varnashrama dharma in my country (US). I do try to follow the rules of grhastra ashram as that is what I am in but I don’t try and teach others about Varnashrama dharma. I think I would be in the shudra class based on my occupation. It be a tough sell to convince most people to be shudras.
Also I disagree that the six goswamis did not ‘mention about varnashrama dharma’. the whole article above is about giving up varnasrama dharma! Sri Jiva Goswami does a crystal clear analysis of it in the Bhakti Sandarbha. And Sri Visvanatha talks about it in various places in the Bhagavad-Gita.
“ Also I disagree that the six goswamis did not ‘mention about varnashrama dharma’. ”
I simply meant that in my initial intro to CV I was told the goal of CV is to establish Varnashrama dharma.
My response was to Hrishikesh ji, not to you.
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I think what Mr. Hrishikesh is trying to say is that the article or opinion could have the danger of discouraging a person who follows basic Varnashrama in the form of basic nityakarmas like Sandhyavandana, and naimittika karmas like Shrāddha to pitris. In practice, the Goswamis have described nitya rituals like agni-
vaishvanara, Gayatri sandhyavandana, and naimittika shrAddha for grihastha Vaishnavas in Hari Bhakti vilasa. Since not everyone has full shraddhā(like most of us) in the beginning, such rituals are described and supposed to be performed while doing karmaarpanamto Bhagavan at the same time. Even in Bhakti sandarbha the kind of shuddha bhakti with no karmas like Sandhya etc. are prescribed for virakta bhaktas. Whereas bhakti with a mixture of karma is described for shuddha bhaktas staying in society.
Often, as Gaudiya Vaishnavas, while conversing with Vaishnavas of other sampradayas, sometimes due to less knowledge and unable to explain the points by acharyas, we are thought of as karmanindakas and that Vedic society cannot be preserved if initiation into GV is taken.
“I think what Mr. Hrishikesh is trying to say is that the article or opinion could have the danger of discouraging a person who follows basic Varnashrama in the form of basic nityakarmas like Sandhyavandana, and naimittika karmas like Shrāddha to pitris. In practice, the Goswamis have described nitya rituals like agni-vaishvanara, Gayatri sandhyavandana, and naimittika shrAddha for grihastha Vaishnavas in Hari Bhakti vilasa. ”
My understanding is that Hari Bhakti vilasa is a general book for everyone, not only for Gaudiya Vaisnavas alone. For Gaudiya Vaisnavas, the practices and concepts are determined by Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu and the Sandarbhas. Sri Visvanatha makes the point very clear in the article above. If you have any arguments against what he is saying, please by all means dispute it.
“Since not everyone has full shraddhā(like most of us) in the beginning, such rituals are described and supposed to be performed while doing karmaarpanamto Bhagavan at the same time. ”
I already said this in my response to Hrishikesh ji above, and discussed this in the linked article on uttama bhakti. This is why the word anavrta is used for jnana and karma in the definition of bhakti.
“Even in Bhakti sandarbha the kind of shuddha bhakti with no karmas like Sandhya etc. are prescribed for virakta bhaktas. Whereas bhakti with a mixture of karma is described for shuddha bhaktas staying in society.”
Can you point me to where in the Bhakti Sandarbha, it is prescribed that only ‘virakta’ bhaktas should perform shuddha bhakti with no karmas, while bhakti mixed with karma is for ‘shuddha’ bhaktas staying in society?
“Often, as Gaudiya Vaishnavas, while conversing with Vaishnavas of other sampradayas, sometimes due to less knowledge and unable to explain the points by acharyas, we are thought of as karmanindakas and that Vedic society cannot be preserved if initiation into GV is taken.”
Are you implying that I am confused and coming across as a karma-nindaka owing to less knowledge? If so, read the rules for commenting on this site. You will be blocked if you continue in this vein. The purpose of diksha into GV is not the preservation of Vedic society. It is getting prema for Bhagavan. Those who want to preserve Vedic society are free to do so. GVs dont wish to disturb Vedic society, as Sri Rupa himself has explained, and they certainly didnt do so even in the time of Sri Caitanya. This site is concerned with bhakti and prema. So spare me the sermons on preserving Vedic society.
I apologise if my message came across as offensive which was not intended.
The comment regarding Bhakti sandarbha was the concluding part of Anuccheda 284 regarding ‘kevala-arcanam’ and the succeeding point about ‘karma-mishra-arcanam’
Baladeva makes a similar point(in my opinion regarding pariniShTha(who are grihasthas or sAshramIs) and nirapekSha. The former upAsaka continues karma solely for lokasamgraha(and not have independent faith on karma) while doing bhakti in predominance and the latter gives up all karma and practices only bhakti. VCT also says something similar in BRS. This is really the point you have explained in the beginning to Hrishikesh ji.
The last comment was not directed to you. I only made that comment regarding those who have faith in the Gaudiya mata and are not learned in the shastra as explained by our purvAcharyas. The purvAchAryas often get attacked by the likes of Advaitins, Vishishtadvaitins and Dvaitins on the internet as karmanindakas. My point was only that if we explain our concepts properly and stress on the point that a shuddha bhakta grihastha while not having faith in karma can do it for lokasamgraha or that those who are yet not paripakva bhaktas can still do karma with bhakti.
Also I would like to post here a similar query by one Advaitin gentlemanly to Babaji maharaja regarding this where Babaji Maharaj gives his reply:
Yes, but for the last time, all this was valid when varnasrama was the dominant social structure in India. Society can change as it has. No matter. Bhakti was, is, and will remain.
“I apologise if my message came across as offensive which was not intended.”
Ignore what I wrote.
“The comment regarding Bhakti sandarbha was the concluding part of Anuccheda 284 regarding ‘kevala-arcanam’ and the succeeding point about ‘karma-mishra-arcanam’”
Thank you. I checked. In your previous message, you wrote, “In Bhakti sandarbha the kind of shuddha bhakti with no karmas like Sandhya etc. are prescribed for virakta bhaktas. Whereas bhakti with a mixture of karma is described for shuddha bhaktas staying in society.”
I dont see where he prescribes karma misra bhakti in that Anuchheda. He is noting that such bhaktas exist. He presents three types of karma-misra bhaktas there, with the last type being uttama bhaktas. These bhaktas do not have faith in those karmas- they do karmas to not disturb society. I have already said this a few times now. And I discussed it in detail here: https://bhaktitattva.com/2018/09/03/the-journey-begins/?preview_id=3&preview_nonce=d1e21eb514&preview=true&_thumbnail_id=136
But it is not obligatory for an uttama bhakta sadhaka, to perform karmas. Also, there is no varnasrama really left to speak of – who is one going to set an example for? And for those born out of the varnasrama system, there is no such option anyway. So the point is moot.
“The last comment was not directed to you. I only made that comment regarding those who have faith in the Gaudiya mata and are not learned in the shastra as explained by our purvAcharyas. The purvAchAryas often get attacked by the likes of Advaitins, Vishishtadvaitins and Dvaitins on the internet as karmanindakas. My point was only that if we explain our concepts properly and stress on the point that a shuddha bhakta grihastha while not having faith in karma can do it for lokasamgraha or that those who are yet not paripakva bhaktas can still do karma with bhakti.”
Ok, but a GV sadhaka (not siddha) loses the adhikara for karma. This is what Sri Visvanatha is saying in the article above. If one has faith in other paths as well, one is not an uttama sadhaka, and does not meet the metric set out by Sri Krsna: tavat karmani kurvita, na nirvidyeta yavata, mat katha sravanadau va, sraddha yavan na jayate
I also note that in the following Anuchheda 285, Sri Jiva Goswami explains that the karma misra bhakta- really uttama bhakta, not karma misra but the appellation is needed to distinguish from those uttama bhaktas who do not perform any karma- should offer karma to the devatas as devotees of Bhagavan in Vaikuntha, because the devatas in this world share their names with bhaktas in Vaikuntha! So the ritualistic karma of uttama bhaktas is not the same as the other karmas – the vision of a bhakta may be totally different when he/she does those.
At a practical level, there is no point in disturbing others – that’s not the purpose of uttama bhakti. If shrAddha needs to be done, for example, it should be done.
About criticisms of GVs from others, our acaryas simply present the Bhagavata’s theology. These days, looking down upon so-called ‘karmis’ and thinking of oneself as a great bhakta seems to be fashionable in GV. Naturally, people are going to be upset.
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Dear TK Das ji,
Am I correct if I state that the symptoms of shAstriya-shraddhā mentioned in Anuccheda 173 of Bhaktisandarbha is necessary for a sAdhaka to give up karma? Am I correct to state that Till the kind of shraddha whose symptoms are mentioned in Anuccheda 173 are not yet present, karma(nitya-naimittika) must not be left? It seems to state that even after taking dīkShā, if these features are not seen, one must not abandon karma.
Yes, if one does not have sastriya sraddha, karma is mandatory. I dont see where it states that even after diksa, one must not abandon karma.
Though it’s not precisely stated, it talks of having shastriya and manifesting the attributes that are a result of shastriya shraddhā(like the ShaDAnga of Sharanagati and other symptoms). These symptoms may not be present during the moment of dikShA. Also there is talk of imparting the shAstriya shraddhA to others(I am guessing that it refers to the disciple. Also the BRS statement about kRShNa dIkShAdi-shIkShaNaM[shiksha about Krishna beginning with mantradiksha] after gurupadAshraya).
In the next Anuccheda(174) of Bhakti sandarbha, there is talk of the acts of karma turning into acts that are pleasureable to Bhagavan when the person attains the association of a devotee(bhakta-saṅge tu tat-santoṣamayatvam). I would assume that it may indicate a situation where the person who was doing niShkAma-karmayoga attained sanga with a devotee or may even have accepted diksha from a guru but continued the karma since his shraddha jmhas not yet matured.
But then again, BRS states adau shraddhA then gurupadāshraya…
Jiva Goswamis commentary to BG 18:66 is in the Krishna Sandarbha Annucheda 82.2
“The word ‘all’ here indicates all duties up to and including daily obligatory rites (Nitya-karma).”
Karma Yoga is the first step in the spiritual discipline (Sadhana) which is to be adopted for Moksha. Karma yoga can serve as an aid to Jnana Yoga which secures the realization of the self. It can also serve as a direct means to self-realization since the practice of Karma Yoga in the prescribed manner includes in it the Jnana Yoga. The two are interrelated. But it is easier to practice karma yoga as it takes less effort and time to realize the goal because of the divine grace showered on the individual in response to the disinterested performance of karma.
I have a question: One of the (superficaial) motives of Sri Krishna for instructing the Gita is to make Arjuna cast away his doubts and make him fight the war. The conslcluding instruction of Bhagavan to Arjuna is that of Sharanagati after doing sarva-(kaitava)dharma parityaga. How are we supposed to understand that this instruction led to Arjuna confident in fighting the war? Srivaishnavas and others interpret it to make it seem like Bhagavan is instructing not abandonment of svadharma but only abandonment of phalas or abandonment of karma, jnana and ashtangayoga(which they term Bhaktiyoga) and only prapatti. Because if the instruction is to abandon karma then there is no point in him instructing the Gita.
Krsna did not speak the Gita to get Arjuna to fight the war. That he was going to fight anyway. This is the meaning of ‘Kartum na icchasi yan mohat karisyasi avaso’pi tat’.
The point of the Gita is to teach paramartha. What is the paramartha? To serve Bhagavan by giving up all other identities, and identifying as Bhagavan’s devotee alone.
What does Sri Visvanatha write? If you reproduce his commentary here, we can discuss more.
Sri Vishvanatha’s commentary on which verse? 18.60?
Regarding my last comment about abandonment of svadharma, it’s as per the commentaries of Ramanuja and Madhva
Sarva dharman parityajya..
In addition could we say that the superficial purpose of inciting Arjuna to fight the war was achieved by Arjuna’s Sharanagati, whereby he would always follow Bhagavan’s direct order alone(in this case to fight) as his dharma without any reservations or doubts?
I don’t like the idea that Krsna incited Arjuna to war even superficially. He was going to fight anyway. He was just temporarily in doubt.
The purpose to speak was to remove his distress. He was distressed because of attachment to his kinsmen. So the Gita dives into the depths of the concept of one’s identity, the meaning of relations, the existence of Paramesvara.
The sarva dharman parityajya verse also contains ma sucah. Do not grieve. By what means does grief come to an end? By surrendering to Bhagavan.
The fighting or not fighting is irrelevant. It is the grief that needs to be removed.
BG 18.66:(three Gaudiya commentaries on this verse)
sanātanaḥ (hari-bhakti-vilāsaḥ 10.63) : sarvān nitya-naimittikādi-karma-lakṣaṇān parityajya sarvarthā tyaktvā mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, mad-eka-niṣṭho bhavety arthaḥ | yad vā, śaraṇāgatatva-mātreṇāpi mām ekam āśraya | kim utaikāntitvena ? nanu vihitākaraṇena pāpaṁ syāt | tatrāha—sarva-dharmo vihitākaraṇajebhyaḥ kathañcin niṣiddhācaraṇajebhyaś ca | tathā saṁsāra-duḥkha-kāraṇa-karma-rūpebhyaḥ tad-vāsanādi-rūpebhyo’pi pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmīti | ataḥ, mā śucaḥ | pāpa-bhayena bhīṣma-droṇādi-vadhena vā śokaṁ mā kuru | evaṁ cānya-loka-śikṣaṇārtham arjunam adhikṛtyoktaṁ, na tu taṁ prati tathopadeśaḥ | tasya narāvatāratvena parama-sakhyādinā ca svata eva parama-bhāgavatatvāt ||66||
viśvanāthaḥ : nanu tad-dhyānādikaṁ yat karomi tat kiṁ svāśrama-dharmānuṣṭhāna-pūrvakaṁ vā, kevalaṁ vā ? tatrāha—sarva-dharmān varṇāśrama-dharmān sarvān eva parityajya ekaṁ mām eva śaraṇaṁ vraja | parityajya sannyasyeti na vyākhyeyam arjunasya kṣatriyatvena sannyāsādhikārāt na cārjunaṁ lakṣīkṛtyānya-jana-samudāyam evopadideśa bhagavān iti vācyam | lakṣyabhūtam arjunaṁ prati upadeśaṁ yojayitum aucitye saty evānyasyāpi upadeṣṭavyatvaṁ sambhaven na, tv anyathā na ca parityjyety asya phala-tyāga eva tātparyam iti vyākhyeyam asya vākyasya—
nāyaṁ kiṅkaro nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan |
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam || [bhā.pu. 11.5.41]
martyo yadā tyakta-samasta-karmā
niveditātmā vicikīrṣito me |
mayātma-bhūyāya ca kalpate vai || [bhā.pu. 11.29.32]
tāvat karmāṇi kurvīta na nirvidyeta yāvatā |
mat-kathā-śravaṇādau vā śraddhā yāvan na jāyate || [bhā.pu. 11.20.9]
ājñāyaiva guṇān doṣān mayādiṣṭān api svakān |
dharmān santyajya yaḥ sarvān māṁ bhajet sa ca sattamaḥ || [bhā.pu. 11.11.37]
ity-ādibhir bhagavad-vākyaiḥ sahaikārthasyāvaśya-vyākhyeyatvāt | atra ca pari-śabda-prayogāc ca | ata ekaṁ māṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, na tu dharma-jñāna-yoga-devatāntarādikam ity arthaḥ | pūrvaṁ hi mad-anya-bhaktau sarva-śreṣṭhāyāṁ tavādhikāro nāstīty atas tvaṁ yat karoṣi yad aśnāsītyādi-bruvāṇena mayā karma-miśrāyāṁ bhaktau tavādhikāra uktaḥ | samprati tv atikṛpayā tubhyam ananya-bhaktau evādhikāras tasyā ananya-bhakter yādṛcchika-mad-aikāntika-bhakta-kṛpaika-labhyatva-lakṣaṇaṁ niyamaṁ sva-kṛtam api bhīṣma-yuddhe sva-pratijñām ivāpanīya datta iti bhāvaḥ | na ca mad-ājñayā nitya-naimittika-karma-tyāge tava prayavāya-śaṅkā sambhavet | veda-rūpeṇa mayaiva nitya-karmānuṣṭhānam ādiṣṭam adhunā tu svarūpeṇaiva tat-tyāga ādiśyate ity ataḥ kathaṁ te nitya-karmākaraṇe pāpāni sambhavanti ? pratyuta ataḥ paraṁ nitya-karmaṇi kṛta eva pāpāni bhaviṣyanti sākṣān mad-ājñā-laṅghanād ity avadheyam |
nanu yo hi yac-charaṇo bhavati, sa hi mūlya-krītaḥ paśur iva tad-adhīnaḥ | sa taṁ yat kārayati, tad eva karoti | yatra sthāpayati tatraiva tiṣṭhati | yad bhojayati, tad eva bhuṅkte iti śaraṇāpatti-lakṣaṇasya dharmasya tattvam | yad uktaṁ vāyu-purāṇe–
ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlyasya varjanaṁ |
rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso goptṛtve varaṇaṁ tathā |
niḥkṣepanam akārpaṇyaṁ ṣaḍ-vidhā śaraṇāgatiḥ || iti |
bhakti-śāstra-vihitā svābhīṣṭa-devāya rocamānā pravṛttir ānukūlyaṁ tad-viparītaṁ prātikūlyam | goptṛtve iti sa eva mama rakṣako nānya iti yat | rakṣiṣyatīti sva-rakṣaṇa-prātikūlya-vastuṣūpasthiteṣv api sa māṁ rakṣiṣyaty eveti draupadī-gajendrādīnām iva viśvāsaḥ | niḥkṣepanaṁ svīya-sthūla-sūkṣma-deha-sahitasya eva svasya śrī-kṛṣṇārtha eva viniyogaḥ | akārpaṇyaṁ nānyatra kvāpi sva-dainya-jñāpanam iti ṣaṇṇāṁ vastūnāṁ vidhātr-anuṣṭhānaṁ yasyāṁ sā śaraṇāgatir iti |
tad adyārabhya yady ahaṁ tvāṁ śaraṇaṁ gata eva varte tarhi tva-uktaṁ bhadram abhadraṁ vā yad bhavet tad eva mama kartavyam | tatra yadi tvaṁ māṁ dharmam eva kārayasi tadā na kācic cintā | yadi tv īśvaratvāt svairācāras tvaṁ mām adharmam eva kārayasi, tadā kā gatis tatrāha—aham iti | prācīnārvācīnāni yāvanti vartante yāvanti vā ahaṁ kārayiṣyāmi tebhyaḥ sarvebhya eva pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi | nāham anya-śaraṇya iva tatrāsamartha iti bhāvaḥ |
tvām alambyaiva śāstram idaṁ loka-mātram evopadiṣṭavān asmi | mā śucaḥ svārthaṁ parārthaṁ vā śokaṁ mā kārṣīḥ | yuṣmad-ādikaṁ sarva eva lokaḥ sva-para-dharmān sarvān eva parityajya mac-cintanādi-paro māṁ śaraṇam āpadya sukhenaiva vartatām | tasya pāpa-mocana-bhāraḥ saṁsāra-mocana-bhāro’pi mayāṅgīkṛta eva |
ananyāś cintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate |
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham || [gītā 9.22] iti |
hanta etāvān bhāro mayā sva-prabhau nikṣipta ity api śokaṁ mākārṣīr bhakta-vatsalasya mama na tatrāyāsa-leśo’pīti nātaḥ param adhikam upadeṣṭavyam astīti śāstraṁ samāptīkṛtam ||66||
baladevaḥ : nanu yajana-praṇaty-ādis tava śuddhā bhaktiḥ prāktana-karma-rūpānanta-pāpa-malina-hṛdā puṁsā kathaḥ śakyā kartuṁ yāvat tvad-bhakti-virodhīni tāny anantāni pāpāni kṛcchrādi-prāyaścittaiḥ savihitaiś ca dharmair na vinaśyeyur iti cet tatrāha—sarveti | prāktana-pāpa-prāyaścitta-bhūtān kṛcchrādīn sa-vihitāṁś ca sarvān dharmān parityajya svarūpatas tyaktvā māṁ sarveśvaraṁ kṛṣṇaṁ nṛsiṁha-dāśarathy-ādi-rūpeṇa bahudhāvirbhūtaṁ viśuddha-bhakti-gocaraṁ santam avidyā-paryanta-sarva-kāma-vināśam ekaṁ, na tu matto’nyaṁ śiti-kaṇṭhādiṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja prapadyasva | śaraṇyaḥ sarveśvaro’haṁ sarva-pāpebhyo prāktana-karmabhyas tvāṁ śaraṇāgataṁ mokṣayiṣyāmīti mithaḥ-kartavyatā darśitā | tvaṁ mā śucaḥ | acirāyuṣā mayā hṛd-viśuddham icchatāticira-sādhyā duṣkarāś ca te kṛcchrādayaḥ katham anuṣṭheyā iti śokaṁ mā kārṣīr ity arthaḥ |
atra mat-prapattur na bhaved ity uktam | śrutiś caivam āha—na karmaṇā na prajayā dhanena tyāgenaivke’mṛtatvam ānaśuḥ iti | śraddhā-bhakti-dhyāna-yogād avaitīti caivam ādyā | saniṣṭhānāṁ hṛd-viśuddhaye pariniṣṭhitānāṁ ca loka-saṅgrahāya yathāyathaṁ kāryās te dharmaḥ | tam etam ity-ādibhyaḥ satyena labhyas tapasā hy eṣa ātmā ity-ādibhyaś ca śrutibhyaḥ |
na ca vihita-tyāge pratyavāya-lakṣaṇaṁ pāpaṁ syād iti śokaṁ mā kurv iti vyākhyeyam | veda-nideśenāgni-hotrādi-tyāge yater iva pareśānideśena tat-tyāge tat-prapattus tad-ayogāt | pratyuta tan-nideśātikrame doṣāpattiḥ syāt | na ca svarūpato vihita-tyāge pratyavāyāpatteḥ | sarvāṇi dharma-phalānīti vyākhyeyam | phala-tyāge tad-anāpatteḥ | tasmāt prapannasya svarūpato dharma-tyāgaḥ | na ca na hi kvacit ity-ādi nyāyena svadharmānuṣṭhānāpattis tad-yajanādi-niratasya tena nyāyena tad-anāpatteḥ | tathā ca sanniṣṭhasyātmānubhavāntaḥ-pariniṣṭhitasya ca parātmānubhavānto yathā dharmācāras tathā prapattuḥ śuddhāntaḥ sa iti evam evoktam ekādaśe—
tāvat karmāṇi kurvīta na nirvidyeta yāvatā |
mat-kathā-śravaṇādau vā śraddhā yāvan na jāyate ||[bhā.pu. 11.20.9] iti |
eṣā śaraṇāgatiḥ śabditā prapattiḥ ṣaḍ-aṅgikā—
ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlyasya varjanaṁ |
rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso goptṛtve varaṇaṁ tathā |
ātma-nikṣepa-kārpaṇye ṣaḍ-vidhā śaraṇāgatiḥ || iti vāyu-purāṇāt |
bhakti-śāstra-vihitā haraye rocamānā pravṛttir ānukūlyam | tad-viparītaṁ tu prātikūlyam | ātma-nikṣepaḥ śaraṇye tasmin sva-bhara-nyāsaḥ | kārpaṇyam anugharṣaḥ | nikṣepaṇam akārpaṇyam iti kvacit pāṭhaḥ | tatra kārpaṇyaṁ tato’nyasmin svadainya-prakāśaḥ | sphuṭam anyat ||66||
My god this is beautiful. I have studied it before but every time I read it, I feel so happy. Thank you.
I will provide a translation in a new post. Then you can ask more questions if you have any.
Sure. Thank you so much!
I have very controversial and off topic question for which Gaudiya Matt of Srila Saraswati thakur often gets attacks and criticism. Is Upanayanam Samskaram of someone born in Shudra JAnma/JAti allowed in Gaudiya traditions other than Gaudiya matt and Iskcon? What does Srila Baladev Vidyabhushana and Srila Vishvanath Cakarvarti Thakur comments on it? It has been bothering me for while and I don’t know how to explain to my fellow Madhav friend.
I have a off subject and very much controversial query but somewhat related to it. Is Upanayanam Samskaram for someone who born in Shudra jAnma/jAti is allowed in Gaudiya traditions other than Gaudiya matt and Iskcon? If VarnaAshrama is ineffective these days and BrahManas are picking up professions or Shudras, so if someone born in Shudra JAnma qualified by his Acharya/Guru Maharaj to do study of Vedas and Archana of dieties, are they allowed to be Dwija, then a Vipra? Did Srila Vishvanath cakravarti mentioned VarnaAshrama on Guna and Karma as well? Or any other previous acharyas? I couldn’t explain well to my madhava friend.
Upanayana is not allowed for them in other Gaudiya traditions. Varnasrama is separate from Bhakti. The Gaudiya tradition is concerned with bhakti, not varnasrama. Bhakti is the right of everyone.
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Those who initiated with Vaishnava Diksha, are they allowed to Do Arcana of Dieties and other Samskars like those 16 Samskar? If VarnaAshrama is not followed, so that does infer they cannot be Sanyasi or any other four spiritual orders?
Yes they are allowed to do arcana if they have Vaishnava diksha in the Gaudiya parampara. Sri Caitanya gave the right to worship to everyone irrespective of social status; bhakti is the right of everyone.
Sannyasa is part of varnasrama, not the bhakti marga.
What do you mean ‘four spiritual orders’? If you mean varnas, they are not ‘spiritual’ in the sense of bhakti which is beyond the gunas. Varnas are under the gunas.
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1.What is the purpose of Hari Bhakti Vilas??
2.Is it a book compiled for Vaishnava society who have not acheived Purna sraddha?
3.Is the diksha mentioned in Hari Bhakti Vilas for Vaishnavas is meant to make them dvijas?
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1. Hari Bhakti Vilasa is compiled for all Vaisnavas. The specific application to Gaudiya Vaisnavas has to be learned from Bhakti rasamrta Sindhu and the Sandarbhas.
2. It is compiled for samanya Vaisnavas. By definition Vaisnavas have purna sraddha in their respective paths.
3. Which diksha are you talking about? Cite the sloka. Vaisnava diksa does not make you a dvija. It makes you a Vaisnava.
1.Can you cite the reference for your reply to my 1st question
2.What do you mean by samanya Vaishnavas?
3.I would like to ask how many types of initiation do we find in HBV?
4.In the purport to Cc Adi 5.203 of Iskcon
Hari Bhakti Vilas is mentioned as a book
Which describes the rules and regulations to be followed by the divisions in the Vaishnava society such as Vaishnava brahmana,Vaishnava kshatriya etc..I am confused here that if one becomes a Vaishnava then how is that he is again following Varanasram.
Thank you for your time..
1. Some things have to be learned in the parampara. There may be a reference for what I wrote but I heard this from my guru.
2. General Vaisnavas.
3. If you are asking whether brahmana diksha os prescribed in hari bhakti Vilasa, the answer is no. There is no such thing as brahmana diksha.
4. It is written for general Vaisnavas not specifically Gaudiyas. Varnasrama was the society in which everyone lived at that time. Rules had to be followed. Even for Gaudiiyas, the prescription was not to openly give varnasrama up. In order to not disturb society, one could follow varnasrama as long as one did not have faith in its ability to give results independently of Bhakti. Read the definition of uttama Bhakti discussed on this site to learn more.
To my knowledge, gaudiya Vaisnavism is the only one which separates varnasrama from Bhakti.
3.No,I would just like to know how many types of diksha in HBV
4.So,is it compiled for that time just not to disturb the society?But this seems contradictory. How can preaching power of bhakti over varanashram be disturbing to society?I heard this opinion of yours from other Vaishnavas also..but I reconciled like this..those who who have full faith in Bhakti follow the regulations of HBV to set examples in the society till the society doesn’t get faith in Bhakti.Pls clarify if anything has gone wrong.
1. Vaisnava diksha.
2. You have not understood what I wrote. It is compiled for general Vaisnavas. That includes all types of Vaisnavas, not just Gaudiyas. To those Gaudiyas who are brahmanas, and who don’t want to disturb society, they can and should follow the rules in it.
What preaching power are you talking about? Preaching is not part of Bhakti.
You need to learn the basics of Bhakti first. Learn the definition. Understand what is it about properly. Then come here to argue if you like.
And by the way, there is no varnasrama left to speak of now. So all this is a waste of time.
No,no I just wanted to clarify whether HBV is applicable for that time and not now?
It is applicable for that time and it is applicable now to a general Vaisnava who is born in varnasrama family and continues to be part of varnasrama. Since it is for general vaisnavas, not all parts of it are applicable to Gaudiyas whether in the past or current time.
That is why my first answer- you have to learn what is applicable from BRS which is specifically for Gaudiyas. And from the guru.
I have a question regarding Bhakti Rasmirta Sindhu and Hari bhakti Vilasa.
If I am still in Society and executing my Materialistic responsibilities, how I should do Bhakti according to BRS and Hari bhakti Vilasa?
Is it possible to do shuddha Bhakti while still in part of VarnaDharma?
Bhakti begins with surrender to a genuine guru. This surrender implies that uttama Bhakti (bhava) is your only goal. After that, all your actions – even sleeping and eating – come under Bhakti because they are done only to support your goal of bhava. So if you work to support yourself, that is also uttama Bhakti.
So by the above logic, you can stay in your varna dharma, and still do uttama Bhakti.
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