|Chapter 9||Confidential Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth||Verse 34|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
This chapter concludes by revealing the pure, simplistic way of worshipping the Supreme Lord Krishna by the words man-manah focus one's consciousness on Lord Krishna, mad bhakto be Lord Krishna's devotee, mad yaji give propitiation and worship to Lord Krishna, mam namaskuru offer humble obeisances to Lord Krishna exclusively. By these direct and easy to perform activities, having Lord Krishna as the Supreme goal one will attain eternal life in the spiritual worlds in association with Him. Thus in this chapter entitled Confidential Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth, Lord Krishna has compassionately revealed some of His transcendental glories and the phenomenal greatness of bhakti or exclusive loving devotion.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
How it is possible for the righteous to directly worship the Supreme Lord Krishna is given here. But this applies only to those who are imbued with the divine presence of the atma or eternal soul. It has been said in the Sandilya text that: One who does not abandon evil ways, one who has no devotion to the Supreme Lord and one who has not equipoise cannot become a devotee of Lord Krishna. But the demigods and sages although sometimes overpowered by their own intentions become in due course of time the pure devotees never forgetting Him and always remembering Him because they are aware of His all encompassing supremacy. Therefore others unaware of this who fraudulently strive to prove their devotion should be known as charlatans. Those with slight demerits may attain devotion due to association with those devoted to Lord Krishna. Still others may offer simple devotion increasing gradually. But those addicted to sense gratification who pretend to be great devotees externally but internally are always thinking of pleasure and recognition are truly the worst deceivers. The Vishnu Purana has mentioned that for those engaged in abominable behaviour and act contrary to the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures, bhakti or loving devotion will never manifest within their hearts. Those who are receptive to bhakti have great faith in the Vedic scriptures and there devotion to Lord Krishna keeps on increasing and their desires for other things keeps on decreasing.
The Moksa Dharma states: O Lord! Having studied the Vedas I am always engaged in austerities. I have dedicatedly served my spiritual master and have never spoken an untruth in the past and I chant my sacred mantras secretly. The four truths revealed in the Vedic scriptures are enshrined within my heart. I am always equal to both friend and enemy alike. Fully surrendering to the Supreme Lord I have been propitiating Him with unabated and unadulterated devotion. How is it that I am unable to perceive His eternal form which is pure and blissful within my heart?
Thus righteous behaviour is considered as one of the means of acquiring spiritual intelligence. Without spiritual wisdom true devotion is not possible to understand. The Gautama text states that: Without spiritual wisdom how can there ever be devotion and without devotion how can there ever be atma tattva or realisation of the soul. The Bhagavat Purana has declared: That devotion to the Supreme Lord, spiritual wisdom and aversion to all other things, all these three go together.
Now begins the summation.
The Padma Purana states: Who is devoted to the Supreme Lord can never by inimical to the Supreme Lord and who is inimical to the Supreme Lord can never be a devotee of the Supreme Lord. Yet the Supreme Lord is always equitable in bestowing the rewards according to one's devotion.
The devotees are dear to the Supreme Lord. The karma or reactions to actions leading to merits and demerits are according to each one's attributes. The stage of Brahmin and others are also normal for them according to their attributes and so is their moksa or liberation. A male human being is next born as a female because of desires or some demerit. A female human being is never born as a male because of attributes but they reside within the male body alongside the male form in a spiritual female form. These spiritual female forms are unlimitedly superior to those who have taken female forms due to the demerit of desires.
All jivas or embodied beings accept the body of skin, flesh and species according to their attributes. Even after dissolving the residue of prior karmas and attaining moksa each jiva experiences even their spiritual existence according to their inherent attributes that manifested in their atma or eternal soul when they first entered material existence from the spiritual worlds. So from this declaration revealed in the Bhavishya Purana the concept of merits and demerits for even those born under evil circumstances can be accepted.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The words man mana means be always conscious of Lord Krishna. This means one's consciousness should always be focused on Him as a continuous stream of thought. The Supreme Lord of all, the sole abode of all excellence, devoid of any fault, the omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent One of indomitable will. The Supreme Lord Krishna, the sole source, the sole cause and the sole origin of all creation, who is Parabrahman the supreme manifestation of the spiritual substratum pervading all existence and Purusottama the supreme personality, who possesses large, beautiful, lotus shaped eyes and whose transcendental body is of dark blue complexion. Lord Krishna resplendent as 1000 suns simultaneously shining, Lord Krishna the epitome of all beauty and loveliness with effulgent yellow hued raiment, ornate and immaculate diadem, dolphin shaped earrings, celestial garlands and ungents, bracelets, rings and armlets. Lord Krishna isvara parama the ultimate controller of all, who is an ocean of infinite mercy, compassion, beauty, sweetness, perfection, bounty and affection. The refuge of all planes of existence in all the trillions of universes without any contradiction in any of them regardless of uniqueness and differences. Lord Krishna the Supreme Sovereign Lord of all.
Furthemore one should be mad bhakto or have their consciousness permeated with unadulterated love for Lord Krishna as their beloved friend. Then one should become maj yaji or Lord Krishna's devoted worshipper taking great delight in their intimate and individual relationship with the Supreme Lord internally. Yaja denoting yagna indicates all the myriad of wonderful and sublime ways of offering bhakti or loving devotion unto Lord Krishna, the way a dear friend offers everything they possess to please another dear friend. Offering as yaji is of three kinds.
1) aupacharika is external worship such as offering incense and waving ghee lamps, fanning etc. 2) samsparsika is tactual service such as garlanding, applying ungents, smearing sandalwood paste, etc. 3) abhyaaharika is offering of vegetarian food such as milk products, fruits and vegetables.
Yaji is thus rendering all kinds of pleasing and delectable services for Lord Krishna's supreme satisfaction and this whether great or small is accomplished perfectly by bhakti or loving devotion and by no other means. The purport is: Let my mind be so aligned that it takes great delight in always rendering such pleasing services to the Supreme Lord Krishna.
Next is advised namaskuru which is the humble prostration of obeisance unto the Supreme Lord. This infers to not let one's mind merely bask in the satisfaction of rendering service out of infinite love created by communal bliss with the Supreme Lord but to also be prostrated in homage with humility to the Supreme Lord as the internal monitor within as Paramatma the supreme soul who witnesses all thought and activities of every living entity.
Mat-parayanah means one who has totally surrendered to the Supreme Lord. Who accepts the Supreme Lord as their only shelter and refuge and who independent of Him could not tolerate existence therefore such a person depends completely on Him. Thus disciplining the consciousness in one pointed focus so that everything one does is directly related to the Supreme Lord one should guide their consciousness in such a way that it can revel and delight in personal communion with the Supreme Lord at every moment. Possessed of such a wonderfully evolved spiritualised consciousness thou shalt most assuredly attain the Supreme Lord without fail. The word atma used here denotes the consciousness beyond the mind.
The import of this verse is that if a person prepares and develops their consciousness to meditate on the Supreme Lord, to render loving service to the Supreme Lord, to delight in communion with the Supreme Lord, to prostrate in humble homage to the Supreme Lord, then putting their full trust to Him alone they will undoubtedly attain Him.
So practically one should perform all worldly duties required to maintain bodily subsistence and then to please the Supreme Lord one should adhere the ordinances of the Vedic scriptures fulfilling both daily and occasional duties as to varnasrama or one's status and position in society according to time and circumstances. Performing all these activities for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord one becomes essentially His dependent although inspired and activated to perform these services by the Supreme Lord within by His feature as Paramatma the supreme soul. Thus one will be ever loving engaged in chanting the names of Lord Krishna, singing His praises, reciting His glories, rendering services, prostrating before Him. Thou shalt realise that every aspect of creation, preservation and dissolution is under His Supreme authority, rule and guidance and is in fact His appendage. Meditating daily in full devotion, reflecting and marvelling over the unlimited multitude of phenomenal qualities and marvellous attributes such a blessed soul attains the ultimate goal of all existence, eternal communion with the Supreme Lord in their eternal spiritual form.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Concluding this chapter Lord Krishna reveals a concise and direct form of worship that is possible for anyone. He begins with man manas meaning to focus one's consciousness upon Lord Krishna, the Supreme Being, the Ultimate Reality, the Supreme Controller, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent, the all pervading One. Overflowing with all auspicious attributes, devoid of any defect, of indomitable will, the sole refuge for all, the veritable source, origin and cause of all creation, who is always of fulfilled desires, who bestows benedictions upon His devotees, and removes all their defects. Whose transcendental form is the embodiment of eternity, endless knowledge and unlimited bliss as well as many other captivating qualities such as beauty, compassion, charm and sweetness. Who is able to attract the minds of the deep meditaters as well as capture the minds of even the muktas or liberated beings and becomes their sole object of meditation thereafter.
One should endow their consciousness to flow incessantly to Lord Krishna an ocean of mercy like the continuous flow of the river Ganga flows incessantly to the ocean. This should be done with the same intensity and delight that a sensuous person has while enjoying sensual pleasures. If this is too difficult and one is unable to detach the mind from the innumerable objects seen, heard and experienced then Lord Krishna suggests mad bhakto or worship Him in loving devotion. This means to perform actions of propitiation in the mood of bhakti or loving devotion to the Supreme Lord. In the Vedic scriptures it was told: O Narada whatever act of worship is enjoined in the Vedic scriptures regarding Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions known as avatars should be enthusiastically performed as these very actions initiate the process to a relationship of loving devotion with the Supreme Lord. Worshipping the Supreme Lord Krishna, being devoted to His worship, adoring His Vedically installed deity form every day once, twice, thrice or many times with Tulasi leaves, pushpa or various fragrant flowers, dhupa or incense, dhipa or ghee lamps, mala or flower garlands, beautiful apparel and ornaments, offering bhoga or vegetarian foods of milk products, fruits, grains and vegetables, chanting His names, singing His praises, revealing His glories. Fasting twice monthly on the sacred days of Ekadasi the 11th day before the new moon and full moon and fulfilling the Ekadasi vow of refraining from all beans and grains for this day and if possible keeping awake all night in the ecstasy of communion with Lord Krishna. Celebrating His appearance days with festivals according to one's means and availability of funds. Acting out His glorious pastimes for others to see. The feeding of guests from the food offered to Lord Krishna which is called mahapradam. The playing of musical instruments in accompaniment to singing His names and dancing in joy before His installed deity form. Then to finalise all offerings and accomplish the completion of all propitiation one should namaskuru or prostrate themselves fully in humble homage with mind, speech and body before the installed deity form of Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions. The act of namaskuru effectively neutralises any vestiges of egotism which could manifest as pride or pratistha which is subtle desire for recognition from performing such wonderful activities to the Supreme Lord. One should abandon the feeling of pride and renounce the desire of recognition by dedicating all actions and thoughts to the Supreme Lord and surrender them to the spiritual master in disciplic succession to offer to the Supreme Lord.
The greatness of namaskuru or prostrating the full body in humble hommage before the Supreme Lord in humble obeisance is explained by Prahlad in theVamana Purana stating: Properly bowing down to Vishnu or Sadashiva who both destroy the ocean of material existence one does not return to samsara the cycle of birth and death. In the Vaisnava Dharma is stated: My devotee even though only speaking the words: I bow down to the Supreme Lord with devotion and faith, attains the supreme destination. When one has achieved the stage of lovingly performing propitiation and worship of Lord Krishna in their life it is very easy to fix their consciousness upon Him. In this way uniting the consciousness with Him in complete communion, depending totally on Him exclusively, renouncing all other efforts and endeavours one shall assuredly attain His eternal association in the eternal spiritual worlds in one's individual spiritual body without a doubt.
I take complete and unconditional shelter of the Supreme Lord Krishna's devotion with its confidential instruction and the phenomenal potency of the power of bhakti or exclusive loving devotion.