Srimad Bhagavad-gita: Ananya Bhajan
Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Jayatah
The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute
Understand this treasure hidden in Sri Gita:
If you can see beyond the apparent and recognize the substance and then declare this to the world, then you will also get exclusive devotion.
Sri Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Giving Up All Phases of Duties
Once we heard that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was chanting the Holy Name and wandering in the sky according to his own sweet will. Suddenly he found that he was just near Yamalaya, where Yamaraj, the Lord of Death holds court to judge the sinners of this world. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur also found present there Lord Brahma, Narada and others, discussing the meaning of two slokas spoken by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita, but they could not find any solution.
api chet suduracharo bhajate mam ananya bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah samyag vyavasito hi sah
"One who has devoted himself exclusively to Me, if he does any mischievous actions--sins--he should still be accepted. He should be judged as a righteous man, as honest as any other person. Although externally a person may commit many crimes, if he is exclusively given to My devotion, then he should be considered pure and spotless. He should be considered a saint. Whatever he does, he is doing cent per cent rightly."
ksipram bhavati dharmatma sasvach-chhantim nigachchhati
kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati
"Very soon he will become religious and will acquire real peace in his life. O son of Kunti, go and declare this to the public with firm determination. You may promise and give a guarantee to the public that My devotee never meets with destruction - they can never be ruined."
Yamaraj, Brahma and others could not find a solution to this point.
sarvva dharmman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja
"Giving up all sorts of duties, one may come to My feet. This is called ananya bhajan. One who has given up all different phases of duties and only accepts duties towards Me is my exclusive devotee."
Now, after such exclusive duty, then he will again be seen as a dutiful man, an externally pious man, a dharmmatma? This seems to be an anomaly. The meaning of ananya bhajan is that he will leave all sorts of duties--pure or impure--and come to My feet. Then, he will again become very saintly in his activity in the near future? What is the meaning of this?
Accepting the Path of Eternal Truth
At that time, they noticed that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was moving in the sky and taking the Holy Name of the Lord. They said, "He is a pure devotee--not an ordinary devotee--and he has got deep knowledge of the Scriptures. Let him come and explain this verse of Bhagavad-gita."
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was invited and went there to give the meaning of the slokas. Who will be pious, who is a dharmmatma? He who understands and declares this decision: "that an exclusive devotee of Krishna--whatever his outer practice may be--he is cent per cent saintly. He who understands and utters this principle will become dharmmatma--he will be pious in the near future. The conclusion should be that he who declares that 'My exclusive devotee, despite his ill behavior, is cent per cent saintly' and, his statement is also cent per cent correct. So such a person will become very pure and very soon, he will also get the chance of accepting the path towards eternal Truth."
Sri Krishna said to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita, “Take this advantage and go to the public. Declare with boldness that My devotee who is given wholly and exclusively towards Me—if apparently or outwardly he may be doing something wrong—he will never be destroyed. He will be saved, na me bhaktah pranasyati—no destruction is possible for My exclusive devotee, his life is insured. Go to the public and declare this and receive the benefit of becoming saintly. You will have the chance of acceptance of the path of spiritual eternal peace. It is so, because they have got that appreciation, that exclusive devotion for Me.”
Our Duty Towards the Center
Everything is for Him and not for any other part. We may obey or disobey the laws of the provincial or separate interest. We may do or may not do, but we must obey the rule: everything is for Him. This is the main rule. All other rules are subsidiary. We may carry on or we may not carry on, but we must carry on our duty towards the center. This is the all-important factor in every case. One who can appreciate this and boldly asserts it to the public must have some substantial feeling in the matter. He is sure to survive to improve his future condition very soon. He will attain the path of eternal peace that is Myself. This is the underlying meaning.
sarvva dharmman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja
This is the highest quality of every part of the whole. Everyone must be dedicated towards the center, even crossing his dutifulness in respect to other environments. One who can feel this, appreciate this, and assert this, he will also very soon get such a position because of his inner heart’s appreciation. He has some realization in this path and that will also come to be effected very soon. The public will see, “Oh! He is also coming to this path of ananya bhajan, exclusive adherence towards the call of the Absolute Center, and that is all in all.”
“Dharmma means moral duties to mother, country, society and humanity. But, neglecting all these duties, if one maintains a straight relationship with Me, then he is considered not to be committing any fault. He is in the line of exclusive devotion towards Me. He is doing rightly.”
One who can appreciate this; he will also very soon be converted to the same class. This is the verdict, the full meaning. Not only he who is following the exclusive devotional path, but who can appreciate this, he will also gain entrance in the path of exclusive devotion to the Lord. In the beginning of devotional practices, there may be some bad tendencies, but when the devotee matures, all these different tendencies will automatically disappear. These unwanted tendencies may disappear or may not disappear, but service to the center is the all-important factor for the devotee.
drstaih svabhava-janitair vapusas cha dosair
na prakrtatvam iha bhata-janasya pasyet
gangambhasam na khalu, budbuda-phena-pankair
brahma-dravatvam apagachchhati, nira-dharmmaih
~Sri Upadesamrta 6
Srila Rupa Goswami has given the example, “The Ganges water is sometimes seen to be externally filthy, but it never loses its purifying capacity. The purifying capacity of the Ganges water has got no connection with the external purifying capacity of the Ganges water.”
In the same way, the devotees may have some physical or mental defects. However, devotee means, ‘the atma—the soul’. In the atma—the innermost self—there is a purifying agent which is the purest normal factor of the world. “Whatever externally you may see in My exclusive devotees is like the foam and dirt in the Ganges water. The purifying capacity of the Ganges water cannot be disturbed by any foam or any dirt mixed with the water—that is something separate. The spiritual capacity does not depend in any way on this material, foreign capacity.”
So, some devotees may be seen to be a little greedy and some a little easily excited. Physically, one may be blind, another may be deaf and another may be lame. But these external, apparent defects should not be considered because a devotee’s saintly characteristic is independent of the physical and mental planes.
The Highest Position of Purity
In Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s tour of South India, He met Vasudeva Vipra in Kurmaksetra. He was a leper, but a great devotee. The leper, Vasudeva was also very exemplary in his physical conduct. If any worms fell on the ground from his sores, then he would put the worms back on the sores so they would not die. He was suffering from leprosy, but he was a devotee cent per cent. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu happily embraced him and his leprosy disappeared. Also, when Srila Sanatan Goswami was coming back to Puri from Vrndavan, by the contact of bad water in the jungle, he contracted some sores on his body. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to welcome him but Sanatan Goswami would push back, “Don’t touch me. This is the body of a sinful man with so many itches and sores that are oozing and emitting a bad odor. Don’t touch me.”
Then one day, Sanatan Goswami disclosed, “I shall leave this place or I shall invite death by falling under the wheel of Lord Jagannath’s cart.” When Mahaprabhu heard of this He chastised Sanatan and then forcibly embraced him—all the good qualities came out immediately and the sores, etc. disappeared. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told, “Sanatan, you are a Vaisnava. Your body is not defective.—aprakrta-deha tomara ‘prakrta’ kabhu naya—I am a sannyasi. Krishna is testing Me to see whether I have got any difference in the discrimination of My dealings with the devotees. Whether I am seeing, ‘this sore is here’ or ‘that defect is there,’ in the devotee and thereby avoid their company. Krishna is testing Me. It is seen only for this purpose. Your body is already pure. Krishna has created this situation only to test the public. If I cannot see this, then I will be deceived by Krishna. So, it is nothing. It is a show, a mere show. Your body is pure and spotless. You are a Vaisnava, a devotee of Lord Krishna. This is only shown to serve some purpose of the divinity of Krishna. Wherever a devotee’s saintly devotion is present, such things cannot stand. Only to test My devotion, Krishna has sent you to Me in this condition.”
He embraced Srila Sanatan Goswami and showed that he is cent per cent devotee. These circumstances may or may not occur, but still the principle is that our service, our wholesale dutifulness towards Krishna is our primal necessity. In the ordinary sense, the Gopis are also considered to be sinners. They are crossing the laws of the society and the Scriptures so they are considered sinners. However, they hold the highest position of purity as a result of their exclusive devotion towards Krishna and no other—even at the risk of repeatedly crossing society’s standards of morality. They cannot check themselves due to their extreme hankering to serve Krishna cent per cent. Therefore, the Gopis are considered to be in the highest devotional mood. But this sort of devotion is not cheap. Persons of this world may take advantage of these very high ideals, but that will not be beneficial for them. Devotion must be there to a substantial degree. It is not by cheap imitation that anyone will pass in the name of exclusive devotion to the Lord. That is sahajia—imitation—and cannot be allowed.
We should not be too particular about the conduct of other devotees as we lose our own time and energy—and it is also reactionary. “If I try to find fault with anyone, then the same fault will come back to me; and this is especially true in the devotee section. By chewing the poison in his body, that same poison will come back to me.” So we should avoid that and try to find the good qualities in others as that will also be of help to us.
There was a system in our Math at the time of our Guru Maharaj (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur). Our Guru Maharaj used to order openly in an assembly that one devotee would stand and praise the good qualities of another selected devotee he especially did not like. So, he forced the critic to find out where the goodness lies in that devotee whom he did not like. Finding out the good qualities in him helped the critic eliminate the bad things in his conception. He will search after that which is good and thereby, he will be benefitted. There should be no culture of any misconception, especially in the devotees because Krishna has taken full charge of those who are surrendered souls.
So whatever is good and bad there in the devotees, it is His responsibility. Any fault or evil in a devotee may disappear at any time or Krishna may continue that tendency there in order to serve some purpose. We are to see like that. Therefore, we must not go to criticize those who are directly under the charge of Krishna or we shall be in great difficulty. We should try to find out what is good in them for that will help us a great deal. This is not a theoretical thing but these are the most practical topics.
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