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Bhagavata: "By regularly hearing the Bhagavatam and rendering service unto the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is practically destroyed, and loving service unto the glorious Lord, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact."


nasta-prayesv abhadresu
nityam bhagavata-sevaya...
[SB 1.2.18]

(sound of small children)

Bhagavata: Go! Celo.

Prabhupada: Hm.

...nityam bhagavata-sevaya
bhagavaty uttama-sloke
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki
[SB 1.2.18]

Naisthiki. Nistha. From nistha... Nistha means "firmly fixed up." Firmly fixed up. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha. Srila Rupa Gosvami has explained how one can be fixed up, nistha. This nistha stage comes when one is freed from anartha. Adau sraddha. Just like you all have come here out of sraddha, some faith, that "Let us go to the Hare Krsna temple, see the arati, or hear from the swamis." This is the beginning, sraddha. To create sraddha, little faith, these centers are established. And one takes to faith, then he gradually advances. Adau sraddha. And that sraddha has been explained by Kaviraja Gosvami, what is sraddha.

That sraddha, he has said, sraddha-sabde visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya. Sraddha means firm faith, visvasa, sudrdha niscaya, unflinching. What is that sudrdha niscaya? Krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya. This is the beginning of sraddha. Sraddha means... As in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. If one is agreeable to this condition, that krsne bhakti kaile, if one agrees, "Yes, if I surrender to Krsna, my all perfection of life is achieved," this is sraddha. Not that "Krsna is also good, and this demigod is also good, you are also good, I am also good. You are also God, I am also God." There is no sraddha. Just like a chaste woman cannot say that every man is good. She'll say, "Only my husband is good." That is chastity. If some woman says that "Any man is good..." Similarly, sraddha means to become chaste, pure krsna-bhakta. That is sraddha.

sraddha-sabde visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

Now practically you can see. These American and European boys, they began with sraddha. I told them that "Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam." They accepted it. They did not present so many rascals, that "Here is another God, here is another God, here is another God." No. Krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma... They fixed up their faith. That is their fortune. They had no hodge-podge idea. Therefore they are making progress. Adau sraddha. Then sadhu-sanga. That sraddha, that firm faith in Krsna, can be more and more firm by sadhu-sanga. Sadhu-sanga means... Who is sadhu? A sadhu means a devotee. Sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30]. Who is sadhu? Sadhu means..., does not mean that having a long beard and saffron-color dress. Sadhu means, mahatma means, who is pure devotee.

That is the explanation in the Bhagavad-gita:

api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah
samyag vyavasito hi sah
[Bg. 9.30]

He is sadhu, even he is su-duracarah. Just like sometimes we find these American, European boys, from our angle of vision, they are deviating little. But Krsna confirms, "Even if he's deviating, still, he's sadhu." Why? Bhajate mam ananya-bhak. "Because he does not know except Me, Krsna." This is the certificate given by Krsna. Sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30]. Samyak... "Oh, he may be sadhu, but not complete." No. Samyag vyavasito hi sah. He's complete sadhu. So what is the qualification? Now, bhajate mam ananya-bhak. The example you can see, how they are making bhajana by the Deity worship. You'll never find in Calcutta such nice Deity worship. Bhajate mam ananya-bhak. They do not know. All these boys and girls, they do not know anything but Krsna. So this is the qualification, sadhu.

So we have to associate with such sadhus, who has got unflinching faith in Krsna and fully engaged in Krsna's service. He is sadhu. Bhajate mam ananya-bhak. Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah, bhajanty ananya-manasah [Bg. 9.13]. That is mahatma. We are after mahatma. Who is mahatma? Sa mahatma sudurlabhah. Vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah [Bg. 7.19]. One who's accepted Krsna as everything, such mahatma is very rarely to be seen. Otherwise, so-called mahatmas, they are loitering in the street: "You are God, I am God, everyone is God." Not that kind of mahatma. Mahatma means bhajanti, "He worships Me, Krsna." Krsna is bhajaniya, and we are servant. One who is convinced on this platform, he is mahatma, he is sadhu. So we have to associate with such sadhus.

Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah. Pure devotee of Krsna. They have no other desire. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [BRS 1.1.11]. They have no other desire. Anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam, uncovered by the mental speculation or fruitive activities, karma-kanda. Jnana-karmady-anavrtam [Madhya 19.167]. Not covered. If you mix up karma with bhakti, if you mix up jnana with bhakti, or if you mix up yoga, it is contaminated. It is not pure. Pure devotional service is given by Rupa Gosvami: anyabhilasita-sunyam [Madhya 19.167]. No desire for fruitive activities or philosophical speculation or yogic, mystic yogic magic. No. Simply how to satisfy Krsna. That is bhakti. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam. Anukulyena. Anukulyena means what is favorable, what Krsna desires. Just like Arjuna. He did not like to fight. He wanted to be a very nice, nonviolent gentleman. But Krsna was inducing him, "You fight." Then later on, he agreed: "Yes, karisye vacanam tava [Bg. 18.73]." This is anukulyena. "Krsna wants it. Doesn't matter whether it is violent or nonviolent, Krsna wants it. I must do it." This is called anukulyena, not against the desire of Krsna, but in favor of Krsna. This is called anukula, anukula-seva. So anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama. That is first-class bhakti. Not that "If I like it, then I shall do it." That is not anukula. That is pratikula. You like or not like, that doesn't matter. Krsna likes it,; you must do it. That is anukulyena krsnanusilanam.

So if we associate with sadhu... Sadhu means, mahatma means, who are fully engaged in Krsna's service. That is sadhu. That is mahatma. Therefore it is recommended, adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah. And if you associate with sadhu, then bhajana-kriya. If we... Just like so many thousands of Europeans, Americans, they have joined us on account of sadhu-sanga. First of all they come in the temple and hear for some days. Then all of a sudden he becomes shaven-headed. We haven't to request. He takes a bead and bead bag, although he's not initiated. Then, after some days, he approaches, "Please get me initiated." The bhajana-kriya. This is called bhajana-kriya. So we initiate. "Yes, now you are interested, we initiate." We give him hari-nama: "Chant Hare Krsna mantra." This is the first initiation. "And chant sixteen rounds and observe these rules and regulations." Then, when I see, six months or one year, he's doing very nicely, then we accept him as my disciple, the second initiation. So this is bhajana-kriya. Then he's admitted to worship the Deity or cook for the Deity, so many things. Bhajana-kriya.

Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat. If there is bhajana, then he'll be freed from all anarthas. Anartha means unwanted things. Just like one man is smoking. Smoking is not essential for living. If you don't smoke... Just like we don't smoke. That does not mean we are dying. It is an anartha. But anyone who has learned this smoking, he cannot stop it. Anartha. The result of bhajana will be substantiated when anartha-nivrttih syat, he's no more interested with some unwanted things. We have practiced so many unwanted things. The first of all -- illicit sex, making so-called lusty affairs without any married bondage, illicit sex. This is anartha. Why? If you want sex, get yourself married according to sastra. Then there is no hindrance. According to Vedic civilization, the, a girl must be married. But in every country I see the female population is more than the male population. Then how every girl should be married? Therefore in India more than one wife was allowed. Now it is not allowed. That is the Vedic injunction, kanya-dana. The father must get, find out a husband for his daughter. There are many histories, the Kulina brahmana.

So anartha. We should not create in the society anarthas, unwanted disturbances. The unwanted disturbance is illicit sex. And meat-eating. Meat-eating... Why one should eat meat? No animal foodstuff. Krsna has given so many nice things. Produce. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, annad bhavanti bhutani. Krsna never says, mamsad bhavanti bhutani, matsyad bhavanti bhutani. Never says. Annad. Anna, anna. Anna means food grain. Produce sufficient food grain. So the... In the village side you go, hundreds and thousands of acres of land is lying vacant. Nobody is interested. Now they are interested (in) opening slaughterhouse. Kill the poor animals and eat, but don't produce food grain. The whole world, this rascaldom is going on. I have traveled over many countries, all over the world. In Africa there are so much vacant land. In Australia there are so much vacant land. But nobody is producing food grains. They, they have kept some cattles, these cows. They are automatically maintained. There is grass. And when they are fatty, take them and send to the slaughterhouse and eat. But the land is lying vacant. The land is lying vacant.

So therefore people are not following the rules and regulations given by God or by nature's own way. They have invented their own way of living condition. Therefore they are suffering. Now we see in Calcutta or any other... Now it is a problem. Everywhere the problem will be food shortage and fuel shortage, power shortage. This is the prediction of many, many great scientists. Because people are committing so many sinful life, they must starve. That is the punishment. That is the punishment. These sinful rascals must be punished. Tan aham dvisatah kruran ksipamy ajasram andha-yonisu. These godless persons, dvisatah, envious of God: "Why there should be God? Why Krsna shall be God?", envious...

So these are dirty things. We began in this chapter that,

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti suhrt satam
[SB 1.2.17]

Abhadrani, all dirty things, they are accumulating. So by hearing about Krsna... Nityam bhagavata-sevaya. Nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18]. You have to hear... Not that Bhagavata-saptaha. I don't find this Bhagavata-saptaha in anywhere in the Bhagavad, Bhagavata. But they have invented some means for professional reading. Nei. In the Bhagavata it is said..., not said, saptaha bhagavata-sevaya. Why it is said, nityam bhagavata-sevaya? You have to hear Bhagavatam daily, regularly. That is the injunction of Bhagavatam. You have to hear from, not from the professional men, professional reciters. Bhagavata-saptaha, and then, after one saptaha, you do your all nonsense things and he takes some money for livelihood, for maintaining his wife and children. And so many umbrellas, so many suits, so many utensils, and sell in the market, get some money, and maintain them. This kind of bhagavata-seva will not help. Nityam bhagavata-seva. Caitanya Mahaprabhu's order is bhagavata pada giya bhagavata-sthane(?). If you want to realize what is Bhagavata, then you must go and learn Srimad-Bhagavatam from a person whose life is Bhagavatam, not the professional Bhagavata reciters.

So here it is said... And who will recite Bhagavatam daily unless he has dedicated his life for Bhagavan? He's bhagavata. Grantha-bhagavata, and the person bhagavata. Bhagavata. Maha-bhagavata. A person, a devotee is called bhagavata. And the grantha-bhagavata. So we have to serve both. We have to hear daily Srimad-Bhagavatam from the realized person. Nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18]. The guru, the devotee, they are bhagavata. So we have to serve, we have to please them. That is also said in the Bhagavad-gita. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. If you want to learn the transcendental subject matter, then you must adopt three things. Tad viddhi... First of all surrender. Find out that kind of person where you can surrender. If there is no surrender, it is not possible.

So the, the Vaisnava philosophy begins from surrender. Therefore Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. That is the order of Krsna. And what is the difference between Krsna and His representative? The representative says that "You surrender to Krsna." He never says that "You surrender to me. I have become Krsna." That is a nonsense, rascal. He will say the same thing. Therefore he's Krsna's representative. Krsna is personally asking that "You surrender to Me," and it is the duty of the bona fide spiritual master, guru, to say to his disciple that "You surrender to Krsna." He'll never say that "You surrender to Me. I have become Krsna. Now I have realized soul. I have become Bhagavan." He's a rascal.

So these are the process. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. Here it is also, the same thing. The same thing is said in a different way. That is sastra. Actually, as Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita... What is Veda? There are four Vedas and 108 Upanisads, then Vedanta-sutra, then so, so many books. All of them are Vedas. And what is the purpose? Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. You read all the Vedas, all the Puranas, Brahma-sutra, Ramayana, Mahabharata. What is the purpose? To understand Krsna. If you don't understand Krsna, then it is useless. Your so-called study of Vedas are useless. Srama eva hi kevalam. That is the confirmation of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

dharmah svanusthitah pumsam
visvaksena-kathasu yah
notpadayed yadi ratim
srama eva hi kevalam
[SB 1.2.8]

You are spoiling your energy. You are... Dharma... A brahmana is executing his brahminical culture very nicely. It is very good. A ksatriya is doing his duty very nicely. That's all right. A vaisya, he's dutying... But the test, whether he's perfect or not, or simply working for nothing, wasting his time, what is that test? That is also stated by Suta Gosvami:

atah pumbhir dvija-srestha
svanusthitasya dharmasya
samsiddhir hari-tosanam
[SB 1.2.13]

He must understand whether by executing his... It doesn't matter whether Hindu or Muslim or this or that. Your duty is, by executing your religious principles, whether you are satisfying Krsna. That is wanted. Tasmin tuste jagat tustam.

So the Krsna personally says that "You surrender unto Me." That is the only business. There is no other business. Simply to see that "Whether I am satisfying Krsna?" So that will be possible... Here it is said that nasta-prayesu abhadresu. Not completely. There are so many dirty things within our heart. If at once it becomes all cleared, then immediately we are liberated person. And that is not possible. Gradually. Gradually, you go on hearing, hearing, srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah [SB 1.2.17]. Gradually, all the dirty things will be cleansed. So nasta-prayesu, almost clean. Not purely, not completely clean. Even it is almost clean... Nasta-prayesu abhadresu. How it is cleansed? Nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18]. You serve your spiritual master, the representative of Bhagavan, bhagavata, and you hear Srimad-Bhagavatam -- these are the two kind of Bhagavatam -- and you do it. Nityam bhagavata-sevaya. Nasta-praye... Almost, almost cle... Then what is that? Bhagavaty uttama-sloke bhaktir bhavati naisthiki. The result will be that you'll be fixed up in the devotional service.

Uttama-sloka. Bhagavan's another name is Uttama-sloka. Uttama-sloka means selected prayers. Just like Brahmaji is offering prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead:

cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vrksa-
laksavrtesu surabhir abhipalayantam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
[Bs. 5.29]

There are so many prayers in the sastras. So therefore His name is Uttama-sloka. These prayers are composed by not ordinary rascal poet. They are composed by very, very stalwart, great personalities like Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and others, Suta Gosvami, Sukadeva Gosvami, Vyasadeva. Therefore they are called uttama-sloka, selected poetry. Therefore Bhagavan's another name is Uttama-sloka. He is offered prayers by the great personalities with selected composition of poetry and prayers. So bhagavaty uttama-sloke.

If actually we follow these regulative principles, nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18], then gradually our heart will be cleansed. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said. The process is to cleanse the dirty heart. Actually, we are clean. Asango 'yam purusah. We have no business to be contaminated with the material qualities. We do not contaminate. Just like we know... In Bengali we say, tele jale mesera(?). You put oil in the water, it will never mix. Similarly, we are spirit souls, aham brahmasmi. We have nothing to do with this material world. But somehow or other, I am in contact. So simply I have to be contactless. That Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. As soon as your heart is cleansed with all dirty things, then bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam, immediately you become out of this contamination, bhava-maha-davagni.

This contamination means we are in the blazing fire of this material world. Blazing fire. It is, has been... Blazing fire... Bhava-maha-davagni. Maha-davagni. Davagni means the fire in the forest. In the forest nobody goes to set fire, but it takes place. Just like we, in India we thought that "By driving away the Britishers, we shall be happy." No. The davagni is so that... That is not the medicine. Medicine is bhavausadhi. Medicine is Krsna consciousness. Not that simply changing from this ism to that ism, this political party to this... That is not. Because everyone is imperfect. How they can give you perfect happiness? It is not possible. They are themselves andha. Andha means blind. So if you follow the blind man, how you'll cross? That is not possible. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah. Why they are andha? Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know the ultimate goal of life is to surrender to Krsna. That they do not know. They are manufacturing their own ways of advancing. That will never be successful. They do not know. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah [SB 7.5.31]. They are thinking, "By adjustment of this material world, we shall be happy." That is not possible. The maya, the material energy, will not allow you to become perfect unless and until you surrender to Krsna. That is her business. Therefore it is said in the Bhagavad-gita,

daivi hy esa gunamayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te
[Bg. 7.14]

This is the way.

So in this verse it is confirmed... The same thing. In the Vedic literature the same thing is spoken in a different way, in different circumstances. But the ultimate goal is how to know Krsna. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. So if we follow this principle, hear Bhagavatam... Bhagavatam means the words or the activities of Bhagavan. But the impersonalists, they think the ultimate goal, ultimate truth, Absolute Truth, is not a person. So there is no activity. If one is person, he has got activities. But if one is not person, void, just like a sky... In the sky, there is no activity. The only activity is the sky is covered with cloud, and you cannot see the sun. That is the only activity.

So that kind of activity is not required. Regular, varieties of activities. Therefore we have to hear about Krsna. You'll hear about Krsna in so many varieties of activities. Bhagavad-gita, you hear. It's so many activities of Krsna. So we have to hear about these. And unless there are activities, what you will hear? Simply "Brahman, Brahman, Brahman... nirakara." How long you will hear? And how long you will enjoy? That is... There is no enjoyment. Therefore they, these Brahmavadis, these Nirakaravadi, although by austerities and penances they may rise up to the Brahman effulgence, still, they will fall down. Because we are living entities, we want varieties of enjoyment. We are not satisfied in void, in zero. That is not possible. Therefore srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah [SB 1.2.17]. One has to hear about Krsna, varieties of activities. Varieties of activities. Not nirakara, without any activities. No. That activity is different from material activity. Janma karma me divyam. Therefore it is called divyam. They are not ordinary activities. They are all transcendental, spiritual activities. The Mayavadi philosophers, they cannot understand.

So we have got enough matter for hearing about Krsna. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana... If we simply sit down and hear, we become pious. And as soon as we become pious, then we can understand what is Krsna, what is God. If we are involved or implicated in sinful activities, there is no chance. Therefore anartha-nivrttih syat. By sadhu-sanga, by association with the sadhus, bhaktas, and by bhajana-kriya, we'll be seen, a person will be seen that he's no more involved in unwanted things. He's simply interested in executing devotional service. Nityam bhagavata-sevaya, bhagavaty uttama-sloke bhaktir bhavati naisthiki [SB 1.2.18]. When we are almost free from all this contamination, then we become fixed up in the devotional service. That is...

Bhagavan said in the Bhaga... Bahavo jnana-tapasa putah. Putah. Puta means purified. So this bhakti process means to become purified, purified. That is... The Narada-pancaratra-sutra also says that,

tat-paratvena nirmalam
hrsikena hrsikesa-
sevanam bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]

Bhakti can be performed when you are purified. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuk... Upadhi. These are the upadhis: "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am black," "I am white." These are upadhis. This is the description of the skin, not for me. Aham brahmasmi. I do not belong to the skin. I do not... Because I do not belong to the skin, then so many skin descriptions... Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that "I am not a brahmana. I am not a sudra. I am not a sannyasi. I am not a brahmacari. I am not a ksatriya." In this way, "not, not, not..." Then what You are? "I am gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah." When you understand that "I am eternal servant of Krsna," that is purification. That is purification. You accept it blindly, or by the process of reading sastra and Vedas, you have to come to the conclusion: vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah [Bg. 7.19]. Then you become mahatma and your life is perfect.

Thank you very much. (end)
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.18 -- Calcutta, September 26, 1974

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bhaktyā pumāñ jāta-virāga aindriyād
dṛṣṭa-śrutān mad-racanānucintayā
cittasya yatto grahaṇe yoga-yukto
yatiṣyate ṛjubhir yoga-mārgaiḥ


 bhaktyā — by devotional service; pumān — a person; jāta-virāgaḥ — having developed distaste; aindriyāt — for sense gratification; dṛṣṭa — seen (in this world); śrutāt — heard (in the next world); mat-racana — My activities of creation and so on; anucintayā — by constantly thinking about; cittasya — of the mind; yattaḥ — engaged; grahaṇe — in the control; yoga-yuktaḥ — situated in devotional service; yatiṣyate — will endeavor; ṛjubhiḥ — easy; yoga-mārgaiḥ — by the processes of mystic power.



 Thus consciously engaged in devotional service in the association of devotees, a person gains distaste for sense gratification, both in this world and in the next, by constantly thinking about the activities of the Lord. This process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the easiest process of mystic power; when one is actually situated on that path of devotional service, he is able to control the mind.

(Srimad Bhagavatam).



In all scriptures people are encouraged to act in a pious way so that they can enjoy sense gratification not only in this life but also in the next. For example, one is promised promotion to the heavenly kingdom of higher planets by pious fruitive activities. But a devotee in the association of devotees prefers to contemplate the activities of the Lord — how He has created this universe, how He is maintaining it, how the creation dissolves, and how in the spiritual kingdom the Lord's pastimes are going on. There are full literatures describing these activities of the Lord, especially Bhagavad-gītā, Brahma-saḿhitā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

The sincere devotee who associates with devotees gets the opportunity to hear and contemplate this subject of the pastimes of the Lord, and the result is that he feels distaste for so-called happiness in this or that world, in heaven or on other planets. The devotees are simply interested in being transferred to the personal association of the Lord; they have no more attraction for temporary so-called happiness. That is the position of one who is yoga-yukta. One who is fixed in mystic power is not disturbed by the allurement of this world or that world; he is interested in the matters of spiritual understanding or the spiritual situation.

This sublime situation is very easily attained by the easiest process, bhakti-yoga. Ṛjubhir yoga-mārgaiḥ. A very suitable word used here is ṛjubhiḥ, or "very easy." There are different processes of yoga-mārga, attaining yoga perfection, but this process, devotional service to the Lord, is the easiest. Not only is it the easiest process, but the result is sublime. Everyone, therefore, should try to take this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and reach the highest perfection of life.



naikāntikaḿ tad dhi kṛte 'pi niṣkṛte
manaḥ punar dhāvati ced asat-pathe
tat karma-nirhāram abhīpsatāḿ harer
guṇānuvādaḥ khalu sattva-bhāvanaḥ

na — not; aikāntikam — absolutely cleansed; tat — the heart; hi — because; kṛte — very nicely performed; api — although; niṣkṛte — atonement; manaḥ — the mind; punaḥ — again; dhāvati — runs; cet — if; asat-pathe — on the path of material activities; tat — therefore; karma-nirhāram — cessation of the fruitive reactions of material activities; abhīpsatām — for those who seriously want; hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; guṇa-anuvādaḥ — constant chanting of the glories; khalu — indeed; sattva-bhāvanaḥ — actually purifying one's existence.

The ritualistic ceremonies of atonement recommended in the religious scriptures are insufficient to cleanse the heart absolutely because after atonement one's mind again runs toward material activities. Consequently, for one who wants liberation from the fruitive reactions of material activities, the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, or glorification of the name, fame and pastimes of the Lord, is recommended as the most perfect process of atonement because such chanting eradicates the dirt from one's heart completely. (Srimad Bhagavatam)

The statements in this verse have been confirmed previously in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.17):

śṛṇvatāḿ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām

"Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone's heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who relishes His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted."

It is the special mercy of the Supreme Lord that as soon as He knows that one is glorifying His name, fame and attributes, He personally helps cleanse the dirt from one's heart. Therefore simply by such glorification one not only becomes purified, but also achieves the results of pious activities (puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtana). Puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtana refers to the process of devotional service. Even if one does not understand the meaning of the Lord's name, pastimes or attributes, one is purified simply by hearing or chanting of them. Such purification is called sattva-bhāvana.

One's main purpose in human life should be to purify his existence and achieve liberation. As long as one has a material body, one is understood to be impure. In such an impure, material condition, one cannot enjoy a truly blissful life, although everyone seeks it.

Therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.5.1) says, tapo divyaḿ putrakā yena sattvaḿ śuddhyet: one must perform tapasya, austerity, to purify his existence in order to come to the spiritual platform. The tapasya of chanting and glorifying the name, fame and attributes of the Lord is a very easy purifying process by which everyone can be happy. Therefore everyone who desires the ultimate cleansing of his heart must adopt this process. Other processes, such as karma, jñāna and yoga, cannot cleanse the heart absolutely.




mad-āśrayāḥ kathā mṛṣṭāḥ
śṛṇvanti kathayanti ca
tapanti vividhās tāpā
naitān mad-gata-cetasaḥ

mat-āśrayāḥ — about Me; kathāḥ — stories; mṛṣṭāḥ — delightful; śṛṇvanti — they hear; kathayanti — they chant; ca — and; tapanti — inflict suffering; vividhāḥ— various; tāpāḥ — the material miseries; na — do not; etān — unto them; mat-gata — fixed on Me; cetasaḥ — their thoughts.

Engaged constantly in chanting and hearing about Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sādhus do not suffer from material miseries because they are always filled with thoughts of My pastimes and activities. (Srimad Bhagavatam).


There are multifarious miseries in material existence — those pertaining to the body and the mind, those imposed by other living entities and those imposed by natural disturbances. But a sādhu is not disturbed by such miserable conditions because his mind is always filled with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and thus he does not like to talk about anything but the activities of the Lord.

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa did not speak of anything but the pastimes of the Lord. Vacāḿsivaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane (Bhāg. 9.4.18). He engaged his words only in glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sādhus are always interested in hearing about the activities of the Lord or His devotees. Since they are filled with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are forgetful of the material miseries.

Ordinary conditioned souls, being forgetful of the activities of the Lord, are always full of anxieties and material tribulations. On the other hand, since the devotees always engage in the topics of the Lord, they are forgetful of the miseries of material existence.



na niṣkṛtair uditair brahma-vādibhis
tathā viśuddhyaty aghavān vratādibhiḥ
yathā harer nāma-padair udāhṛtais
tad uttamaśloka-guṇopalambhakam

na — not; niṣkṛtaiḥ — by the processes of atonement; uditaiḥ — prescribed; brahma-vādibhiḥ — by learned scholars such as Manu; tathā — to that extent;viśuddhyati — becomes purified; agha-vān — a sinful man; vrata-ādibhiḥ — by observing the vows and regulative principles; yathā — as; hareḥ — of Lord Hari;nāma-padaiḥ — by the syllables of the holy name; udāhṛtaiḥ — chanted; tat — that; uttamaśloka — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; guṇa — of the transcendental qualities; upalambhakam — reminding one.

By following the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies or undergoing atonement, sinful men do not become as purified as by chanting once the holy name of Lord Hari. Although ritualistic atonement may free one from sinful reactions, it does not awaken devotional service, unlike the chanting of the Lord's names, which reminds one of the Lord's fame, qualities, attributes, pastimes and paraphernalia.
(Srimad Bhagavatam).

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura comments that the chanting of the holy name of the Lord has special significance that distinguishes it from the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies of atonement for severe, more severe or most severe sinful actions. There are twenty types of religious scriptures called dharma-śāstras, beginning with the Manu-saḿhitā and parāśara-saḿhitā, but herein it is stressed that although one may become free from the reactions of the most sinful activities by following the religious principles of these scriptures, this cannot promote a sinful man to the stage of loving service to the Lord.

On the other hand, chanting the holy name of the Lord even once not only frees one immediately from the reactions of the greatest sins, but also raises one to the platform of rendering loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is described as uttama śloka because He is famous for His glorious activities. Thus one serves the Lord by remembering His form, His attributes and pastimes.

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura explains that this is all possible simply by chanting the Lord's holy name because of the Lord's omnipotence. What cannot be achieved through the performance of Vedic rituals can be easily achieved through the chanting of the Lord's holy name. To chant the holy name and dance in ecstasy is so easy and sublime that one can achieve all the benefits of spiritual life simply by following this process.

Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu declares, paraḿ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-sańkīrtanam: "All glories to Śrī Kṛṣṇa sańkīrtana!" The sańkīrtana movement we have started offers the best process for becoming purified of all sinful reactions and coming immediately to the platform of spiritual life.




sa vai mahā-bhāgavato mahātmā
mahānubhāvo mahatāḿ mahiṣṭhaḥ
pravṛddha-bhaktyā hy anubhāvitāśaye
niveśya vaikuṇṭham imaḿ vihāsyati

saḥ — he; vai — certainly; mahā-bhāgavataḥ — the topmost devotee; mahā-ātmā — expanded intelligence; mahā-anubhāvaḥ — expanded influence; mahatām— of the great souls; mahiṣṭhaḥ — the greatest; pravṛddha — well matured; bhaktyā — by devotional service; hi — certainly; anubhāvita — being situated inthe anubhāva stage of ecstasy; āśaye — in the mind; niveśya — entering; vaikuṇṭham — in the spiritual sky; imam — this (material world); vihāsyati — will quit.

That topmost devotee of the Lord will have expanded intelligence and expanded influence and will be the greatest of the great souls. Due to matured devotional service, he will certainly be situated in transcendental ecstasy and will enter the spiritual sky after quitting this material world.
(Srimad Bhagavatam).

There are three stages of transcendental development in devotional service, which are technically called sthāyi-bhāva, anubhāva and mahābhāva. Continual perfect love of Godhead is called sthāyi-bhāva, and when it is performed in a particular type of transcendental relationship it is called anubhāva. But the stage of mahābhāva is visible amongst the personal pleasure potential energies of the Lord.

It is understood that the grandson of Diti, namely Prahlāda Mahārāja, would constantly meditate on the Lord and reiterate His activities. Because he would constantly remain in meditation, he would easily transfer himself to the spiritual world after quitting his material body. Such meditation is still more conveniently performed by chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord. This is especially recommended in this age of Kali.


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