second prahara until three-and-a-half praharas
(approximately 11:00 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.)
A nāma-sādhaka has no desire other than unadulterated devotional service to Kṛṣṇa (ahaitukī-kṛṣṇa-bhakti). The fourth verse of Śikṣāṣṭaka states:
na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ
kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi
O Jagadīśa, I do not desire wealth, nor followers, nor do I desire beautiful poetry (here meaning “knowledge”). O Prāṇeśvara, my only desire is to have unalloyed devotion unto Your lotus feet birth after birth.
strī-putra dāsa-dāsī kuṭumbādi jana
kāvya-alaṅkāra-ādi sundarī kavitā
pārthiva-viṣaya madhye e saba vāratā
ei saba pāivāra āśā nāhi kari
śuddha-bhakti deha more, kṛṣṇa kṛpā kari’
premera svabhāva, yāhā premera sambandha
sei māne kṛṣṇa mora nāhi bhakti-gandha
Bhakti only appears in the heart when one performs harināma-kīrtana with firm faith (śraddhā). But the sādhaka’s perfected body (śuddha-svarūpa) will not arise unless he gives up all connection with sensual happiness in this material world. This renunciation of sensual happiness takes place in two ways: positive (anvaya) and negative (vyatireka). Here anvaya refers to the prominent characteristic of devotion, which is the cultivation of activities favourable to Kṛṣṇa (ānukūlya-maya-kṛṣṇānuśīlana). Vyatireka refers to the two secondary characteristics of devotion, which are:
- (1) the absence of desire for anything other than the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa (anyābhilāṣitā-śūnya) and
- (2) the absence of the coverings of karma and jñāna (jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛta).
The words na dhanaṁ na janam in this Text clearly explain the symptoms of vyatireka. The word dhana refers to wealth and articles collected for enjoyment and entertainment, and jana indicates women, children, servants, maidservants, subjects, friends and relatives. Sundarī-kavitā means ordinary knowledge expressed in mundane poetry and literature.
“O Kṛṣṇa, Lord of my life, I am not praying to You for all these things. My only prayer is that I may have unalloyed devotion unto Your lotus feet birth after birth.”
Misusing material wealth and so forth is opposed to bhakti. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.9.6) states:
tāvad bhayaṁ draviṇa-deha-suhṛn-nimittaṁ
śokaḥ spṛhā paribhavo vipulaś ca lobhaḥ
tāvan mamety asad-avagraha ārti-mūlaṁ
yāvan na te ’ṅghrim abhayaṁ pravṛṇīta lokaḥ
As long as a person does not take shelter of Your lotus feet, which remove all kinds of fear, he will be tormented by anxiety, sorrow, hankering, wretchedness, extreme greed and so forth caused by wealth, home, friends and relatives. He will maintain the misconception of “I” and “mine”, which is the sole cause of unhappiness.
dravya-deha-suhṛn-nimitta śoka bhaya
spṛhā parābhava āra lobha atiśaya
āmi mama ārti-mūla asat-āśaya
yata dina nahe tava pāda-padmāśraya
Persons who have never heard hari-kathā are not inclined to serve Hari. They use their time, wealth and strength in mundane activities and they maintain the misconception that “I am the enjoyer”. They will suffer due to their inclination to enjoy. In other words, although they are in distress, they still endeavour to obtain that which is unrelated to Kṛṣṇa. The sole cause of this is illusion. Forgetting that Kṛṣṇa is their only near and dear friend, they establish friendship with persons averse to Kṛṣṇa and remain fearful of the devotees. It is only by the merciful disposition of Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas that the living entity can be delivered from these sufferings and the desire to serve Bhagavān can arise in his heart. In other words the inclination to serve Bhagavān (bhagavat-sevā-vṛtti) will manifest in his heart. The living entity then realises his own intrinsic nature, as well as the instrinsic natures of Bhagavān and the illusory energy, and engages all his senses in serving Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura sings in Śaraṇāgati (Ātma-nivedana, song 8):
ātma nivedana, tuyā pade kari,
hainu parama sukhī
duḥkha dūre gela, cintā nā rahila,
caudike ānanda dekhī
By surrendering myself to Your lotus feet I have become supremely happy. All suffering has gone far away and I have no more worries. Now I see happiness in all directions.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the supreme Lord of all lords, and by worshipping Him, all others are worshipped. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.31.14) states:
yathā taror mūla-niṣecanena
prāṇopahārāc ca yathendriyāṇāṁ
tathaiva sarvārhaṇam acyutejyā
By watering the root of a tree, all its parts, such as the trunk, branches and sub-branches, are nourished, and by satisfying the life-airs through eating, all of the senses are nourished. Similarly, only by worshipping Śrī Kṛṣṇa are the demigods, forefathers and so forth worshipped.
taru-mūle dile jala, bhuja-śākhā-skandha
tṛpta haya anāyāse, sahaja nirbandha
prāṇera tarpaṇe yathā indriya sabala
kṛṣṇārcane tathā sarva-devatā śītala
By watering the root of a tree, all of its parts, such as the trunk, branches, leaves and fruits, obtain nourishment. By putting food in the stomach all the different bodily limbs are satisfied and nourished. Similarly, by performing exclusive worship of Acyuta, all the demigods and goddesses are also worshipped. This is because Acyuta is the root cause of all consciousness, and all conscious and unconscious matter is dependent on Him. Svayam Bhagavān is the only one who is infallible (acyuta), and He can never become fallible (cyuta). Here someone may ask, “What harm is there in worshipping both Bhagavān and the demigods and goddesses at the same time?” The answer is that such worship signifies a lack of firm faith in Bhagavān. The demigods and goddesses are ruled by material qualities, while the process of serving Bhagavān is transcendental. It is improper to disrespect the demigods and goddesses, but it is also incorrect to elevate them to the same level as Kṛṣṇa. The scriptures state that one who gives up śrī-kṛṣṇa-bhajana to worship the demigods and goddesses is like one who gives up his mother to worship an outcaste woman, or like one who gives up nectar to drink poison.
Unalloyed devotees have no other duty than serving Kṛṣṇa. The Padma Purāṇa states:
harir eva sadārādhyaḥ
The Lord of all demigods, Śrī Hari, is always the only worshipful object, but it is improper to disrespect Brahmā, Rudra and other demigods.
ādau sarveśvara-jñāna kṛṣṇete haibe
anya deve kabhu nāhi avajñā karibe
One should not increase the number of his unqualified disciples on the pretext of spreading bhakti. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.13.8) states:
na śiṣyān anubadhnīta
granthān naivābhyased bahūn
na vyākhyām upayuñjīta
nārambhān ārabhet kvacit
One should not make many disciples for material gain, nor study many books, nor give discourses on śāstra to earn one’s livelihood. One should also give up large undertakings.
bahu-śiṣya-lobhete ayogya śiṣya kare
bhakti-śūnya śāstrābhyāse tarka kari’ mare
vyākhyāvāda-bahvārambhe vṛthā kāla yāya
nāme yāra ruci sei e saba nā cāya
While explaining the duty of a sannyāsī, Devarṣi Nārada said to Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, “A sannyāsī should roam about, be devoted to Nārāyaṇa and be the well-wisher of all living entities. He should not engage in any occupation to maintain his life, nor should he engage in discussions only for the sake of debate. He should only accept objects that come through begging (bhikṣā). He should not be attached to literature that discusses temporary, material subject matters, nor should he, for material benefit, give mantras to unqualified persons to increase his number of disciples. He should not show his scholarly talent, but rather he should study literature on bhakti and put these teachings into practice. It is unfavourable to pure devotion, and also a waste of time, to establish and maintain large temples to make a show of opulence. Many kinds of unqualified persons will take shelter of such temples, and their devious activities will defame the society of sādhus. Saintly persons should perform bhajana under the guidance of their superiors, following the path designated by the disciplic succession (paramparā). Only a sādhaka on the platform of bhāva is qualified to make disciples, and he does so only for the welfare of society and the protection of the sampradāya. The scriptures forbid unqualified persons from making many disciples.”