1960 Back to Godhead vol 3 part 19 - Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu
Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu
(Devotional Service of the Lord)
- Hridi yasya preranaya prabrtita aham baraka api-tasya hare padakamalam vande chaitanya devasya.
Hridi—In the heart; yasya—whose, preranaya—by the inspiration of, pravartito—engaged, aham—myself, baraka—insignificant, api—although, tasya—of him, hare—the Lord's, padakamalam—lotus feet, vande—do worship, chaitanya—Sri Chaitanya, deva—the Lord.
Let me worship the lotus feet of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, by the inspiration of whose unbounded mercy, I am now engaged, although very much insignificant in this task.
The author Sri Rupa Goswami shows the way of approaching the Absolute Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna. He therefore offers his respectful obeisance unto the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is no other than Sri Krishna Himself appeared in the form of a devotee to bestow his merciful benediction upon the fallen souls of this iron age called by the name Kali Yuga. Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally inspired Srila Rupa Goswami at Dasaswmedh Ghat Prayag (Allahabad) continuously for ten days and authorised him to propagate the science of devotional service for everyone's benefit. As pure Vaishnava, Srila Rupa Goswami considers himself as the most insignificant person although he is not so. Nobody can describe the transcendental science unless he is authorised by the Lord Himself or His bonafide representative. As Arjuna was, in the Bhagwat Geeta, personally inspired by Sri Krishna—so also here Srila Rupa Goswami was also personally inspired by the Lord. As such none of them can be insignificant persons but on the contrary they are the proper authorities who can deliver us the right thing. Nobody can understand the Bhagwat Geeta if he does not follow the footprints of Arjuna and similarly nobody can understand the mission of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu unless one is scrupulously inclined to follow the footprints of the Goswamins headed by Sri Rupa Goswami. Srila Jiva Goswami explains the word Baraka as one who can explain the right concept. It may not be out of place to mention in this connection that this translation work into English is also undertaken under the same authority of His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj who is bonafide representative of Srila Rupa Goswami. There is no spirit of change herein from the path of the original authority.
- Vishrama mandirataya tasya sanatana tano mad Ishasya bhakti rasamrita sindhur bhavatu sada ayam pramodaya.
Vishrama—resting place, mandirataya—on account of being temple of, tasya—of him, sanatana—eternal, tano—of the body, mad—mine, Ishasya—of the Lord, bhakti—devotional service, rasamrita—mellow nectarine, sindhur—of the ocean, bhavatu—let it be, sada—always, ayam—this, pramodaya—for the pleasure of.
Let this ocean of nectarine mellow of devotional service be always the source of eternal pleasure of my Lord Who has His eternal body and Who is represented by spiritual master known under the name of Sri Sanatan Prabhu. Ocean is also the eternal temple of the eternal body Narayana.
The author after offering his respectful obeisances unto Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu he turns to pay respect to his spiritual master who is known as Sanatan Prabhu. The spiritual master is non-different from the Lord and therefore both of them are Sanatan eternal. The Lord is represented by the spiritual master who is eternal servitor God. The author wishes most sincerely that the book titled under the name of ocean may be the eternal resting place of the Lord who takes eternal rest in Karana ocean as Purusha Avatara or Narayana who is the plenary manifestation of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna Himself in His Narayana feature rests in the temple of ocean and in the same manner the book titled as Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu may also be the resting temple of Krishna with His unlimited paraphernalia. Sri Krishna and all His unlimited paraphernalia, Sri Krishna and all His eternal plenary expansions are Vishnu Tatwas and therefore all of them possess non-changeable eternal body. The body being eternal the resting places of the Lord are also eternal. As such the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu is the eternal Truth being the eternal science of the eternal Godhead. The Lord is Absolute and therefore His resting place is also Absolute. There is no difference between the Lord and His resting place.
- Bhakti rasamrita sindhou charatah paribhuta kala jala bhiyah bhakta makaran mukti nadikan namasyami.
Bhakti—devotional service, rasamrita—nectarine mellow, sindou—in the ocean, charatah—playing on, paribhuta—having conquered, kala—influence of time and space, bhiya—fearfulness, bhakta—devotees, makaran—the shark fishes, namasyami—offering respectful obeisances.
I am offering my respectful obeisances unto the devotees of the Lord who are compared with the shark fishes and who neglect the rivers of liberation on account of their playing facilities in the deep ocean of nectarine mellow (Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu).
The author next turns towards the pure devotees to offer his respectful obeisances. The pure devotees are the eligible candidates for enjoying swimming excursions in the ocean nectarine mellow of devotional service. Pure devotees are never afraid of spectre of time and space and as such they are not afraid of the tribulations of birth and death because they have already conquered the stringent laws of nature. Birth and death of other than devotees are always painful but for the devotees they are plain things of appearance and disappearance. A simple example will clear this ideas. The cat carries her cubs and the rats by the same mouth. But there is gulf of difference between the two carrying processes. The cubs feel pleasure while carried by the jaws of the mother cat but the rats feel death pain by the same jaws of the cat. Pure devotees come and go for the service of the Lord and therefore they are exempt from the laws of nature. Jesus Christ was crucified but he did not feel the pain. Apparently it seems that the devotees are under the same laws of nature but factually they are not so. In the Bhagwat the Yamaraja instructs clearly that the devotees are not within the jurisdiction of his influence. Therefore pure devotees do not give much importance to the process of salvation. The river fishes have no idea of the big fishes that are within the ocean. The comparison of the river and the ocean as is generally cited by the monist philosophers exhibits a poor fund of knowledge. Mixing of the river with the ocean is superfluous. Real life in the ocean has not comparison with those in the river. The devotees are compared with shark fishes who are within the ocean without any relation with the rivers.
The ocean is the resting place for all sorts of rivers. It is generally compared that varieties of religiosities are like different rivers and they take rest in the ocean ultimately. The comparison is not applicable in the case of pure devotees because such devotees are like the shark fishes who do not care for the insignificant rivers. The devotees who take pleasure in the depth of water of the ocean of devotional service has nothing to do with the liberation rivers. They are so to say useless for the devotees.
There are five different varieties of liberation like to become (1) One with the Absolute, (2) To live in the same planet where God lives, (3) To develop the same feature of body like the Lord, (4) To possess the same standard of opulences like God, (5) To become constant associate of God. Out of the five different varieties of liberations the one which is called Sayujya or to become one with the Lord is lowest of all. Generally all different varieties of religiosities aim at this point of becoming one with the Absolute. The pure devotees are so much endowed with transcendental mellow of devotional service that they do not evaluate even the four other forms of liberation and what to speak of the liberation under the clause of becoming one with the Lord. These things are very insignificant for a pure devotee and as such Srila Rupa Goswami desires to pay his respects for these devotees, excluding all others who are either mundaners, fruitive workers or utmost the salvationists. All these groups are classified in the list of non-devotees and the followers of Shri Rupa Goswami avoids them carefully.
- Mimansaka barabagneh kathinam api kunthayan asau jihvam sphuratu sanatan suchiram taba bhakti rasamritambodhi.
Mimansakas—the logicians, barabagneh—of the volcanic eruption within the water, kathinam—very hard, api—although, kunthayan—subduing, asau—that, sphuratu—let it continue to exist, sanatana—oh my Lord eternal, suchiram—for all the days, taba—yours, bhakti—devotional service, rasamrita—nectarine mellow, ambodhi—span of water.
Oh my Lord, there are many logicians who are just like the volcanic crater within the water who shall create occasional disturbances. But as the large volume of water subdue such disturbances so also the ocean of devotional service Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu shall always stand over their (logician's) disturbing arguments.
There are two kinds of logicians who are against the devotional service of the Personality of Godhead. One of them is the fruitive worker and the other is the empiric philosopher. The fruitive worker will argue that there is no need of serving invisible God. Let us work hard in developing industries and agriculture which alone will bring in prosperity. And a little higher than them are the empiric philosophers who are very much interested in dry philosophical arguments in the matter of God's form and feature without any tangible service. Both these classes of men are speculators and as such they are in fact disturbing elements to the transcendentalists who are marching progressively towards the kingdom of God. The author therefore begging mercy from Sri Sanatan Prabhu his spiritual master to save the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu from such disturbing arguments of the Karmis and Jnanins. It is however, certain that the mellow which is the dominating factor of the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu is as immeasurable as the sea water. And therefore as the occasional volcanic eruption within the water is subdued by the volume of vast sea water so also the transcendental mellow of devotional service due to her vast nature will certainly overrule such occasional disturbances. The purport is that one who has tasted the sweetness of the mellow of devotional service will never be attracted by the activities of the fruitive worker or the empiric philosophers. This is an eternal truth and that eternal truth will always protect the peaceful existence of Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu.
Text No. 6
- Bhakti-asya prostuti sakhila jagat mangala prasangasya ajnenapi moya asya kriyate suhridam pramodaya.
Bhaktir—devotional service, asya—of this, prastuti—presentation, akhila—all inclusive, jagat—universal, mangala—welfare, prasangasya—of the delineation, ajnenapi—even though by a neophyte, moya—by me, kriyate—is being done, suhridam—of the kind hearted (friends), pramodaya—for the pleasure of.
Presentation of an all inclusive delineation of devotional service of the Lord, which is universally accepted welfare work for all living being, is being done by me, even though I am a neophyte—for the pleasure of the kind hearted friend.
Devotional service by a living being for the pleasure of the Supreme Being (Lord) is the universally accepted welfare work for all. A living being's constitutional position is always as such that he has to render service to the superior will. When such service is rendered favourably it is called devotional service of the Lord and when such service is rendered unfavourably to the will of the Lord or in other words to satisfy one's own whims and pleasure or for the matter of sense-gratifying, it is called Karma or fruitive action. Fruitive action is bondage while devotional service is liberation from all bondage. This distinction of bondage and liberation of all actions can only be judged by a thoroughly learned man already placed in the devotional service of the Lord. On the other hand such devotional service is the natural function of a living being and therefore it is essentially the prime welfare work for all concerned. Such service is done in one's real identity. The author of the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu namely Srila Rupa Goswami is therefore engaged in the highest welfare work for all humanity because he attempts to awaken all living being to the state of consciousness of his constitutional position. But this defacto truth may be misunderstood by a section of people who exist with poor fund of knowledge. Such critics of the value of devotional service to the Lord may not find any pleasure in the subject matter of this great transcendental presentation, but in spite of all these, a really kind hearted friend who knows the object of devotional service of the Lord will find it surely a useful solace of the hankering heart.
In fact Srila Rupa Goswami is himself a universally kind hearted man who feels for the gross materially engaged vitiated person and as such the work which is being done by him is not at all for his personal gain but it is for the universal good for all living being. Persons who are already in the line of such kind hearted devotional service can realise what immensely valuable book is this work of the name Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu.
- Etasya bhagabat bhakti rasamrita payonideh chatwarah khal-bakshyante bhagah purbadaya kramat.
Etasya—of this, bhagabat—the Lord, the Personality of Godhead, bhakti—devotional service, rasamrita—nectarean mellow, payonideh—of the ocean, chatwarah—four, khal—as a matter of fact, bakshyante—are being described, bhagah—divisions, purbadayo—directions beginning from the east.
In this text of the nectarean ocean of mellows in the matter of devotional service of the Personality of Godhead there will be four primary divisions beginning from the east and so on.
The Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu is not a book of something imaginary vision in the matter of mental speculation of mundane sentiments. The subject matter is seriously meant for presenting the science of devotional service of the Lord which promotes a practitioner to the highest stage of transcendental realisation. It is clearly stated here that devotional service is meant for the Supreme Lord. He is tangible fact and so also is His service. And to put the whole thing in a systematic way the author desires to divide the subject matter into four compartmental divisions for gradual process of realisation. Any serious student who will strictly follow the chalked out path is sure to achieve the desired result which is ultimately to meet the Lord face to face.
- Tatra purva bebhagesmin bhaktiveda nirupate anukramena baktabyam laharinam chatustayam.
Tatra—thereupon, purva—eastern, bebhagesmin—division of it, bhakti—devotional service, veda—categories, nirupate—in the estimation, anukramena—respectively, baktabyam—has to be described, laharinam—of the waves, chatustayam—four only.
Thereupon in the eastern division of it, devotional service in the waves of four categorical estimation has to be described respectively.
In the very beginning of a scientific approach of devotional service the author has attempted to make a clear distinction of pure devotional service from the popular misconception of the