by Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami
Anyone who is initiated with name and mantra of the Lord by a bona-fide spiritual master should take full shelter (of the Lord). The word ‘ananya-sharana’ means having no other shelter or object of service except Lord Govinda within and without the material world. The word ‘syat’ is used for certainty. Similarly one should be ‘ananya-sadhana’, which means one who avoids the process of material activities such as nitya and namittika and who is undeviated in the devotional service of Lord Govinda, following the ninefold process of hearing, chanting, remembering etc.
‘Ananya sadhanartha’ means one who uses his wealth only for the service of great pure devotees in an authorised line. (Not for those who pretend to be devotees without having initiation from a bona-fide spiritual master). That means one has to serve those who have taken complete shelter of the Lord. He should not serve others who are servants of external demigods i.e. Shaivas, Shaktas, Shauras and Ganapatyas who are averse to the Supreme Lord Govinda. They can be provided food and water as guests according to one’s ability, but not in the mood of servant and the served, because then there will be a possibility of committing offence to the holy name of the Lord.
‘Ananya-prayojana’ means thinking oneself a servant of Lord Hari. One should not have any other goal to achieve except the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a devotee of Krishna, being ‘ananya-sharana’, should not worship other demigods and should not perform any nitya, naimittika, kamya rites or shraddha and tarpana for the ancestors.
‘Kadacana’ means never. One should not offer obeisances to the demigods, should not remember them by chanting their names, should not circumbulate them, should not see their idols or deities, should not touch their bodies, should not criticize or glorify them, should not eat their remnants and should not accept their nirmalya (flower, garlands, cloth, or candana). One should not accept anything such as water, prasada, flowers, garlands, candana given by a Shaiva, Shakta, Shaura, or Ganapatya who have turned their faces away from the Lord, although situated in varnashrama . But one can accept those things if they are given by the devotees of Krishna.
One who has accumulated enough wealth out of his business in his previous situation as a Shaiva, Shakta, Shaura, or Ganapatya under the Lord’s external energy, and then later accepts the name of Govinda from a bona fide spiritual master and becomes purifed by rebirth with panca samskara, should use his wealth only for the service of Krishna and His devotees. One should diligently try to avoid talking with nondevotees who have forgotten the Lord; one should avoid meeting them, offering homage, praising, touching them, sitting with them and eating food with them.
(The next section shows that not only Vaishnavas, but all people should avoid worship of devatas and pitris.)
It has been shown that the surrendered devotees of Lord Vishnu or Krishna should not worship the devatas. But the same rule applies to even those brahmanas who are not initiated into the vishnu -mantra.
In Naradiya Purana it is said:
brahmano’ pi munir jnani
devam anyam na pujayet
mohena kurute yas tu
sadyash candalatam vrajet
“Even a learned and thoughtful brahmana should not worship demigods. If one worships demigods because of illusion, one falls down immediately to the stage of a candala or dog eater. By worship of the demigods, a brahmana falls from the brahmanical status to that of a candala.”
‘brahmana’ means one who knows the Brahma-Gayatri, which is instructed by the saintly Narada. The greatly fortunate brahmana understands that Vishnu is supreme. Therefore it is said that in Kali yuga, the brahmana who knows Vishnu is equal to Vishnu . The brahmana is the original Vaishnava; there is no distinction between the Supreme Lord and the Vaishnava. The word ‘muni’ means a thoughtful sage or one who knows truth and falsity. ‘Jnani’ means one who has the knowledge of reality, instead of false knowledge of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. Such a brahmana should not worship the demigods. If he does so, having lost his knowledge by the influence of material desire, he falls down to the level of a candala. This means that even in this life he becomes like a dog-eater, what to speak of his next life. Although it may seem praiseworthy, it actually destroys his good qualitites and places him on the stage of a dog eater. Therefore, except for serving Gayatri (in order to worship the Lord) who is a personified great devotee of the Lord, one should not worship any of the devas.
Though a case of a brahmana was cited above, the same rule applies to all situated in varna and ashrama. It is a great fault for anyone to worship demigods instead of Lord Vishnu, the Personality of Godhead. Thus in Skanda Purana it is mentioned in the discussion of Brahma and Narada:
yo ‘nya-devam upasate
tyaktva mritam sa mudhatma
bhunkte halahalam visham
“Whoever worships other demigods giving up Vasudeva is a fool and eats the deadly poison called halahala, rejecting nectar.”
Any person in varnashrama who rejects the worship of Vasudeva, residing in His Supreme abode, and worships demigods, is considered to have abandoned nectar and swallowed poison. He is a fool, completely ignorant, with unsteady mind. A foolish person who has forgotten Lord Vasudeva leaves the nectar of devotional service to the Lord which is liberation itself, the destroyer of the fetters of material life, and accepts the bondage of mundane life. He has to suffer good and bad activities and traverse the cycle of birth and death through 8,400,000 species of life which certainly destroys his original identity. He suffers greatly; therefore it is compared to poison.
This is supported by the following scriptural text: avashyam eva bhoktavyam kritam karma shubhashubham – “A person must always enjoy or suffer according to the good or bad activities he has performed in this life.”
Similarly in Mahabharata and Harivamsa it is stated:
yas tu vishnum parityajya
mohad anyam upasate
sa hema-rashim utshrijya
“One who worships anyone other than Krishna, being under illusion, is considered as having accepted a heap of ashes, while rejecting a pile of gold.”
Being bewildered by the Lord’s external potency (mohat) any human being who rejects the all-pervading Supreme Master of the world, Vishnu, who is served by following in the footsteps of those who are in His full shelter, and instead serves demigods and demigodesses as the worshippable bestowers of his desires, accepts a heap of dust instead of a quantity of gold.
In contrast to this, one who has obtained the human form of life as a result of service to Lord Govinda in many previous lives, and has accepted name and mantra from a bona-fide spitiual master, avoids the adoration of the demigods by the body, speech and mind, and serves Lord Vishnu in devotion as his only master. He rejects completely the process of material bondage of birth and death in various species of life as a heap of sand and accepts service to Lord Govinda like a treasure of gold. The word ‘jighrikshati’ means to accept.Therefore the unalloyed devotees of Lord Govinda, in all activities accept what is real or ‘sat’ and reject what is false, considering the principles of bhagavata-dharma. Meaning of “sat”
In this regard Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna in Bhagavad-Gita 17.26,27:
sad-bhave sadhu bhave ca
sad ityetat prayujyate
prashaste karmani tatha
sac chabdah partha yujyate
“The Absolute Truth is the objective of devotional sacrifice, and it is indicated by the word sat. The performer of such a sacrifice is also called sat.”
‘Sadbhava’ means those who have taken birth in the mode of goodness, such as the devotees of Lord Govinda, the demigods, and the brahmanas who are purified by the chanting of Gayatri mantra. It also means a pure appearance (sat avirbhava), referring to the appearance of the Lord’s forms in this world, like Virat and Narayana. ‘Sat bhava’ also refers to the person who exists in the eternal place (sat) called Vaikuntha-Dhama, the Supreme abode. That person is Narayana or Vasudeva.
‘Sat bhava’ also means He who appears with His own pure energy. Krishna appears according to His own sweet will with His name, quality, activity and pastimes, and so many opulences and perfections like anima etc. in His abode, Shri Vrindavana.
‘Sat bhava’ also refers to the appearance of great devotees (satam), who are born through the guru who gives instructions and initiation, not by a birth from parents under the influence of pious activities accumulated in a previous life.
‘Sadhu bhave’ means the excellent nature of saintly persons, or the pure nature of their minds, which is produced by hearing the quality, activity, pastimes and the names of the Lord; by studying the scriptures which describe devotional service, such as Shruti, Smriti, Vedas, Puranas, secondary Puranas, Agama, philosophy and Pancaratra etc. and by the association of devotees and other devotional processes.
The word ‘sad’ is thus used to indicate those demigods and brahmanas who are completely surrendered to the Lord, and things which are beyond the modes of passion and ignorance, which are eternal and situated in pure goodness.
Similarly, ‘prashaste karmani’ means the activities in pure goodness performed by a Krishna conscious person–all activities in the service of one’s spiritual master, the Vaishnavas, brahmanas and the devotees of Lord Krishna, such as taking the Deity of Lord Govinda on procession, nama-kirtana and sankirtana. ‘O Arjuna, son of Pritha, the word ‘sat’ is used in all these and other activities which belong to Krishna and His devotee.’ In the next verse, 17.27 He says:
yajne tapasi dane ca
sthitih sad iti cocyate
karma caiva tad arthiyam
sad ity evabhidhiyate
“All works of sacrifice, penance and charity which are true to the Absolute nature, and are performed to please the Supreme Person, O son of Pritha, are called sat.”
‘Yajna’ refers to Shri Vishnu -yajna or all the devotional activities like shravanam, kirtanam from early morning–to the last offering of flowers when the Lord is put to rest at night . ‘Tapa’ means having given up fruitive daily and periodic rituals and performing only actions devoted to the Lord. ‘Dana’ means serving the great devotees of Lord Krishna by the body, mind and speech, with devotion and faith, and, as indicated by the word ‘ca’, service to satisfy brahmanas and all living entities by feeding them.
‘Yajna’ can also mean Vishnu and service to Him according to the scriptures. These things must be done, and nothing else. The word ‘sat’ is used always for these sacrifices and such situations, but other kinds of yajna and activities are described here as ‘asat’, or illicit. Therefore, the word ‘sat’ cannot be used there.
‘Tad arthiyam’ means bodily sufferings accepted to execute activities such as sacrifice, charity and penance; collecting donations of money from businessmen; making flower gardens, sitting or resting places; and planting many kinds of plants for the Lord and His devotees. Learned scholars categorize these kinds of activities as ‘sat’.
Therefore, the householder devotees of Krishna, being born in ‘sadbhava’ or in pure goodness, through instructions on the name and mantra of the Lord, should worship only the Lord in all performances, not demigods and forefathers. Simply by worshipping Lord Krishna, Govinda, all the demigods and forefathers are worshipped.
Sat Kriya Sara Dipika, Part Seven
Oct 02, 2016 — CANADA (SUN) — By Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Printed by The Bhaktivedanta Academy, Mayapur (1995).
BY: SUN STAFF
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