Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.4.13

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ŚB 2.4.13

भूयो नम: सद्वृजिनच्छिदेऽसता-
मसम्भवायाखिलसत्त्वमूर्तये ।
पुंसां पुन: पारमहंस्य आश्रमे
व्यवस्थितानामनुमृग्यदाशुषे ॥ १३ ॥
bhūyo namaḥ sad-vṛjina-cchide ’satām
puṁsāṁ punaḥ pāramahaṁsya āśrame
vyavasthitānām anumṛgya-dāśuṣe


bhūyaḥ — again; namaḥ — my obeisances; sat — of the devotees or the pious; vṛjina — distresses; chide — the liberator; asatām — of the atheists, the nondevotee-demons; asambhavāya — cessation of further unhappiness; akhila — complete; sattva — goodness; mūrtaye — unto the Personality; puṁsām — of the transcendentalists; punaḥ — again; pāramahaṁsye— the highest stage of spiritual perfection; āśrame — in the status; vyavasthitānām — particularly situated; anumṛgya — the destination; dāśuṣe — one who delivers.


I again offer my respectful obeisances unto the form of complete existence and transcendence, who is the liberator of the pious devotees from all distresses and the destroyer of the further advances in atheistic temperament of the nondevotee-demons. For the transcendentalists who are situated in the topmost spiritual perfection, He grants their specific destinations.


Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the complete form of all existence, both material and spiritual. Akhila means complete, or that which is not khila, inferior. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, there are two kinds of nature (prakṛti), namely the material nature and the spiritual nature, or the external and internal potencies of the Lord. The material nature is called aparā, or inferior, and the spiritual nature is called superior or transcendental. Therefore the form of the Lord is not of the inferior, material nature. He is complete transcendence. And He is mūrti, or having transcendental form. The less intelligent men, who are unaware of His transcendental form, describe Him as impersonal Brahman. But Brahman is simply the rays of His transcendental body (yasya prabhā). The devotees, who are aware of His transcendental form, render Him service; therefore the Lord also reciprocates by His causeless mercy and thus delivers His devotees from all distresses. The pious men who follow the rulings of the Vedas are also dear to Him, and therefore the pious men of this world are also protected by Him. The impious and the nondevotees are against the principles of the Vedas, and so such persons are always hampered from making advances in their nefarious activities. Some of them, who are specially favored by the Lord, are killed by Him personally, as in the cases of Rāvaṇa, Hiraṇyakaśipu and Kaṁsa, and thus such demons get salvation and are thereby checked from further progress in their demoniac activities. Just like a kind father, either in His favor upon the devotees or His punishment of the demons He is ever kind to everyone because He is the complete existence for all individual existence.

The paramahaṁsa stage of existence is the highest perfectional stage of spiritual values. According to Śrīmatī Kuntīdevī, the Lord is factually understood by the paramahaṁsas only. As there is gradual realization of the transcendence from impersonal Brahman to localized Paramātmā to the Personality of Godhead, Puruṣottama, Lord Kṛṣṇa, similarly there is gradual promotion of one’s situation in the spiritual life of sannyāsa. Kuṭīcaka, bahūdaka, parivrājakācārya and paramahaṁsa are gradual progressive stages in the renounced order of life, sannyāsa, and Queen Kuntīdevī, the mother of the Pāṇḍavas, has spoken about them in her prayers for Lord Kṛṣṇa (Canto One, Chapter Eight). The paramahaṁsas are generally found among both the impersonalists and the devotees, but according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (as clearly stated by Kuntīdevī), pure bhakti-yoga is understood by the paramahaṁsas, and Kuntīdevī has especially mentioned that the Lord descends (paritrāṇāya sādhūnām) especially to award bhakti-yoga to the paramahaṁsas. So ultimately the paramahaṁsas, in the true sense of the term, are unalloyed devotees of the Lord. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has directly accepted that the highest destination is bhakti-yoga, by which one accepts the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Those who accept the path of bhakti-yoga are the factual paramahaṁsas.

Since the Lord is very kind to everyone, the impersonalists, who accept bhakti as the means of merging in the existence of the Lord in His impersonal brahmajyoti, are also awarded their desired destination. In the Bhagavad-gītā (4.11) He has assured everyone: ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. According to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī, there are two classes of paramahaṁsas, namely the brahmānandīs (impersonalists) and the premānandīs (devotees), and both are awarded their desired destinations, although the premānandīs are more fortunate than the brahmānandīs. But both the brahmānandīsand the premānandīs are transcendentalists, and they have nothing to do with the inferior, material nature full of the existential miseries of life.

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