Book excerptsSri Bhajana RahasyaDVITĪYA-YĀMA-SĀDHANA. Prātaḥ-kālīya-bhajana. Anartha-nivṛtti in Sādhu-saṅga. Verses 16-20

DVITĪYA-YĀMA-SĀDHANA. Prātaḥ-kālīya-bhajana. Anartha-nivṛtti in Sādhu-saṅga. Verses 16-20


The six urges unfavourable to bhakti and the anarthas related to them (i.e. hṛdaya-daurbalya, asat-tṛṣṇā and aparādha) are explained in the first verse of Upadeśāmṛta:

vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ
jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt


A wise and self-composed person who can tolerate the impetus to speak, the agitation of the mind, the onset of anger, the vehemence of the tongue, the urge of the belly and the agitation of the genitals can instruct the whole world. In other words, everyone becomes a disciple of such a self-controlled person.

vākya-vega mano-vega krodha-jihvā-vega
udara upastha-vega bhajana udvega
bahu-yatne nitya saba karibe damana
nirjane karibe rādhā-kṛṣṇera bhajana


In this Text, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has given the instruction to reject that which is unfavourable to bhakti. The acceptance of that which is favourable and rejection of that which is unfavourable are not direct limbs of pure bhakti. Rather, they are aspects of śraddhā that are characterised by surrender (śaraṇāgati) and that bestow the eligibility for bhakti. A person who is capable of tolerating the six urges mentioned in this verse can instruct the entire world.

The purport is that lust (kāma), anger (krodha), greed (lobha), delusion (moha), pride (mada) and envy (matsaratā) always appear in the mind and cause agitation to the living entity. These six enemies appear in the mind of the living entity due to weakness of heart, hṛdaya-daurbalya.

Three kinds of urges (vegas) are seen in the living entity attached to enjoyment of material objects in this worldly existence: the impetus to speak, agitation of the mind and agitation of the body. It is very difficult for a person who has fallen into the strong current of these three urges to be rescued.

The impetus to speak (vākya-vega) refers to talks that are unfavourable to bhakti, and to the use of words that cause distress to others. However, one should not consider talk that is useful in the service of Bhagavān to be vākya-vega. Rather, one should consider such talk to be the result of disciplining the impetus to speak. Agitation of the mind is born from the various desires of the heart. If these desires are not fulfilled, anger arises. The three mental urges of speech, the mind and anger will be pacified by remembering Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes.

The bodily urges are also of three types: the vehemence of the tongue, the urge of the belly and the agitation of the genitals. Vehemence of the tongue appears when the desire to enjoy any of the six distinct tastes impels one to eat prohibited foods and to take intoxicants. A bhakti-sādhaka must never indulge in these things. One should carefully keep the urge of the tongue at bay by taking the remnants of Bhagavān and the devotees. The urge of the belly will also be pacified by taking bhagavat-prasāda as needed, by regularly observing Ekādaśī and by serving Kṛṣṇa.

It is possible to fall into varieties of bad behaviour and bad association just to satisfy the desires of the tongue. Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Antya-līlā 6.227) states: “jīhvāra lālase yei iti uti dhāya, śiśnodara-parāyaṇa kṛṣṇa nāhi pāya – one who runs here and there trying to satisfy his tongue and who is always devoted to the desires of the genitals and belly cannot attain Kṛṣṇa.” Also (Antya-līlā 6.236): “bhāla nā khāibe āra bhāla nā paribe – do not eat delicious food and do not dress opulently.” Many troubles come from overeating. A person who eats too much becomes a servant of his agitated genitals. In other words, he becomes devoid of character. The agitation of the genitals, or the desire to meet with the opposite sex, drags the mind towards material sense objects and therefore renders one incapable of cultivating pure bhakti.

Rūpa Gosvāmī composed this verse to make the heart of a person who is endeavouring to perform bhajana inclined towards the path of bhakti. It is not that the endeavour to escape these six urges is itself the practice of bhakti; rather, this endeavour is the path to attain the qualification to enter the realm of bhakti. When bhakti appears, these six urges automatically become pacified of their own accord. This is because bhakti is a self-manifesting function of Bhagavān’s svarūpa-śakti.


The six impediments to bhakti are described in the second verse of Upadeśāmṛta:

atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ
jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca
ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati


The following six kinds of faults destroy bhakti: (1) eating too much or collecting more than necessary; (2) endeavouring for that which is opposed to bhakti; (3) engaging in useless mundane talk; (4) failing to adopt essential rules and regulations, or fanatically adhering to rules and regulations; (5) taking bad association; and (6) being greedy or restless in the mind to adopt worthless opinions.

atyāhāra prayāsa prajalpa jana-saṅga
niyama-āgraha laulye haya bhakti bhaṅga


The six impediments to bhakti are atyāhāra, prayāsa, prajalpa, niyamāgraha, jana-saṅga and laulya.

Atyāhāra is formed by the words ati, meaning “too much” or “excessively”, and āhāra, “to grasp or consume for one’s own enjoyment”. It means either excessive enjoyment of any sense object or collecting more than necessary. While renunciants are forbidden to accumulate objects, householder Vaiṣṇavas may collect and save what is necessary to maintain their life. However, over-accumulating is atyāhāra. It is not proper for those desiring to perform bhajana to accumulate like materialists. Prayāsa is the endeavour to enjoy material objects or the engagement in activities opposed to devotion. Prajalpa means to spend time uselessly gossiping about mundane things. Niyamāgraha means enthusiastic adherence to those rules that yield the lowest results, such as attaining Svarga, while abandoning the endeavour for the topmost attainment of service to Bhagavān. It also refers to indifference towards the rules and regulations that nourish bhakti. The word jana-saṅga refers to giving up the association of pure devotees and keeping company with others, especially materialistic people. Laulyam refers to the fickleness of the mind to accept varieties of false doctrines, and the restlessness of the mind to enjoy insignificant material sense enjoyment. The tendency for bhakti will be destroyed if one wanders like a promiscuous woman, sometimes on the path of karma, sometimes on the path of yoga, sometimes on the path of jñāna and sometimes on the path of bhakti. Prajalpa leads to criticism of devotees, and laulya awakens a taste for many temporary, uncertain conclusions. Both of these will lead to nāma-aparādha. Therefore one should carefully give them up.


The six kinds of association that nourish bhakti are described in the fourth verse of Upadeśāmṛta:

dadāti pratigṛhṇāti
guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva
ṣaḍ-vidhaṁ prīti-lakṣaṇam

Offering pure devotees items in accordance with their requirements and accepting prasāda, remnant items given by pure devotees; revealing to devotees one’s confidential realisations concerning bhajana and inquiring from them about their confidential realisations; eating with great love the prasāda given by devotees and lovingly feeding them prasāda – these are the six kinds of association that symptomise love and affection.

ādāna pradāna prīte, gūḍha ālāpana
āhāra bhojana chaya saṅgera lakṣaṇa
sādhura sahita saṅge bhakti-vṛddhi haya
abhakta asat-saṅge bhakti haya kṣaya


This verse describes the visible symptoms of the affection that nourishes devotion, or in other words, affection for pure devotees. Bhakti manifests by associating with Bhagavān’s devotees, but one should be careful to associate only with pure devotees. One should never keep the company of and reciprocate with gross sense enjoyers, persons who desire liberation or those who want to enjoy the fruits of their actions. Bhakti will be destroyed by the fault of associating with them. One should also not hear anything from them about the confidential aspects of bhakti, and one should not accept food that has been touched by them. Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Antya-līlā 6.278) confirms this:

viṣayīra anna khāile malina haya mana
malina mana haile nahe kṛṣṇera smaraṇa


[Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said:] When one eats food offered by a materialist one’s mind becomes contaminated, and when the mind is contaminated one is unable to think of Kṛṣṇa properly.

On the other hand, loving exchanges with devotees who are like-minded, more advanced than oneself and affectionate to oneself (svajātīya-snigdhāśaya) enhance one’s devotion.


In Śrī Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka (8.88) Śrīman Mahāprabhu has prohibited one from even seeing a sense enjoyer or a woman:

niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya
pāraṁ paraṁ jigamiṣor bhava-sāgarasya
sandarśanaṁ viṣayiṇām atha yoṣitāṁ ca
hā hanta hanta viṣa-bhakṣaṇato ’py asādhu

[Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu greatly lamented, saying:] Alas, for a renunciant who is devoted to bhagavad-bhajana and who desires to cross the ocean of material existence, it is worse to see sense enjoyers and women than it is to drink poison.

niṣkiñcana bhajana unmukha yei jana
bhava-sindhu uttīrṇa haite yāṅra mana
viṣayī-milana āra yoṣit sammilane
viṣa-pānāpekṣā tāṅra viruddha-ghaṭana


Persons who desire to cross the ocean of material existence, as well as renunciants intent on bhagavad-bhajana, should avoid those who are attached to sense enjoyment and the association of women. The company of people in these two categories is more fearsome than drinking poison. Śrī Raghunātha dāsa understood Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s hint and thereafter refused to accept the wealth his father had sent him, understanding that it was more auspicious to accept alms. Śrī Mahāprabhu abandoned Choṭa Haridāsa for life because he associated with a woman. Therefore in Prema-vivarta Jagadānanda Paṇḍita says:

yadi cāha praṇaya rākhite gaurāṅgera sane
choṭa haridāsera kathā thāke yena mane


If you want to associate with Caitanya Mahāprabhu, you must always remember the incident of Choṭa Haridāsa and how he was rejected by the Lord.


It is forbidden to judge a transcendental Vaiṣṇava from a material viewpoint. Upadeśāmṛta (6) states:

dṛṣṭaiḥ svabhāva-janitair vapuṣaś ca doṣair
na prākṛtatvam iha bhakta-janasya paśyet
gaṅgāmbhasāṁ na khalu budbuda-phena-paṅkair
brahma-dravatvam apagacchati nīra-dharmaiḥ

Devotees who are in this material world should not be considered material; that is, one should not consider them ordinary jīvas. Imperfections seen in their natures, such as birth in a low caste, harshness or lethargy, and imperfections seen in their bodies, such as ugly features, disease or deformities, are precisely like the appearance of bubbles, foam and mud in the Gaṅgā. Despite such apparent pollution of her water, the Gaṅgā retains her nature as liquefied transcendence. Similarly, one should not attribute material defects to self-realised Vaiṣṇavas.

svabhāva-janita āra vapu-doṣe kṣaṇe
anādara nāhi kara śuddha-bhakta-jane
paṅkādi julīya doṣe kabhu gaṅgā-jale
cinmayatva lopa nahe, sarva-śāstre bale
aprākṛta bhakta-jana pāpa nāhi kare
avaśiṣṭa pāpa yāya kichu dina pare


The instruction of this Text is that it is improper to consider pure devotees to be material or to see material defects in them. It is possible that they may have defects in their bodies or natures, but it is impossible for pure devotees to fall into bad association or commit nāma-aparādha. The water of the Gaṅgā is considered to be pure despite the appearance of bubbles, foam, mud and so forth within it, for its nature as liquefied transcendence is never lost. Similarly, self-realised Vaiṣṇavas are not contaminated by the birth of the material body nor by its deterioration. Therefore one who is intent on performing bhajana should never disrespect a pure Vaiṣṇava even if these defects are apparent in him. The remaining imperfections of a Vaiṣṇava are quickly removed, and if someone even looks for them he becomes an offender.

[CC-by-ND GVP]

Must Read

More Articles Like This