CC Madhya 24
Madhya 24.1: All glories to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who acted as the eastern horizon where the sun of the ātmārāma verse rose. He manifested its rays in the form of different meanings and thus eradicated the darkness of the material world. May He protect the universe.
Madhya 24.2: All glories to Lord Caitanya! All glories to Lord Nityānanda! All glories to Advaitacandra! And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya!
Madhya 24.3: Thereafter, Sanātana Gosvāmī clasped the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and humbly submitted the following petition.
Madhya 24.4: Sanātana Gosvāmī said, "My Lord, I have heard that previously, at the home of Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, You explained the ātmārāma verse in eighteen different ways.
Madhya 24.5: "'Those who are self-satisfied and unattracted by external material desires are also attracted to the loving service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whose qualities are transcendental and whose activities are wonderful. Hari, the Personality of Godhead, is called Kṛṣṇa because He has such transcendentally attractive features.'
Madhya 24.6: "I have heard this wonderful story and am therefore very inquisitive to hear Your explanation again. If You would kindly repeat it, I would be very pleased to hear."
Madhya 24.7: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, "I am one madman, and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya is another. Therefore he took My words to be the truth.
Madhya 24.8: "I do not recall what I spoke in that connection, but if something comes to My mind due to association with you, I shall explain it.
Madhya 24.9: "Generally by Myself I cannot give an explanation, but by the strength of your association something may manifest itself.
Madhya 24.10: "There are eleven clear words in this verse, but when they are studied separately, various meanings glitter from each word.
Madhya 24.11: "The seven different meanings of the word 'ātmā' are the Absolute Truth, the body, the mind, endeavor, firmness, intelligence and nature.
Madhya 24.12: "'The following are synonyms of the word "ātmā": the body, mind, Absolute Truth, natural characteristics, firmness, intelligence and endeavor.'
Madhya 24.13: "The word 'ātmārāma' refers to one who enjoys these seven items [the Absolute Truth, body, mind and so on]. Later, I shall enumerate the ātmārāmas.
Madhya 24.14: "My dear Sanātana, first hear the meanings of the other words, beginning with the word 'muni.' I shall first explain their separate meanings, then combine them.
Madhya 24.15: "The word 'muni' refers to one who is thoughtful, one who is grave or silent, an ascetic, one who keeps great vows, one in the renounced order and a saint. These are the different meanings of the word 'muni.'
Madhya 24.16: "The word 'nirgrantha' refers to one who is liberated from the material knots of ignorance. It also refers to one who is devoid of all regulative principles enjoined in the Vedic literature. It also refers to one who does not have knowledge.
Madhya 24.17: "'Nirgrantha' also refers to one who is illiterate, lowborn, misbehaved, unregulated and devoid of respect for the Vedic literature. The word also refers to one who is a capitalist and to one who has no riches.
Madhya 24.18: "'The prefix "niḥ" may be used for a sense of ascertainment, gradation, construction or forbidding. The word "grantha" means "riches," "thesis" and "composition."'
Madhya 24.19: "The word 'urukrama' refers to one whose krama [step] is great. The word 'krama' means 'throwing the foot forward,' that is, 'stepping.'
Madhya 24.20: "'Krama' also means 'power,' 'trembling,' 'a systematic method,' 'argument' and 'a forcible attack by stepping forward.' Thus Vāmana caused the three worlds to tremble.
Madhya 24.21: "'Even if a learned man is able to count all the minute atoms in this material world, he still cannot count the potencies of Lord Viṣṇu. In the form of the Vāmana incarnation, Lord Viṣṇu, without hindrance, captured all the planets, extending from the root of the material world up to Satyaloka. Indeed, He caused every planetary system to tremble by the force of His steps.'
Madhya 24.22: "Through His all-pervasive feature, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has expanded the entire creation. He is holding and maintaining this creation by His extraordinary potency. By His conjugal potency, He maintains the planetary system known as Goloka Vṛndāvana. Through His six opulences, He maintains many Vaikuṇṭha planets.
Madhya 24.23: "The word 'urukrama' indicates the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who, by His external potency, has perfectly created innumerable universes.
Madhya 24.24: "'These are the different meanings of the word "krama." It is used in the sense of potency, systematic arrangement, step, moving or trembling.'
Madhya 24.25: "The word 'kurvanti' means 'they do something for others,' since it is a form of the verb 'to do' indicating things done for others. It is used in connection with devotional service, which must be executed for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. That is the purport of the word 'kurvanti.'
Madhya 24.26: "'The terminations of the ātmane-pada are employed when the fruit of the action accrues to the agent of verbs having an indicatory ñ or a svarita accent.'
Madhya 24.27: "The word 'hetu' ['cause'] means that a thing is done for some motive. There can be three motives. One may act to enjoy the result personally, to achieve some material perfection, or to attain liberation.
Madhya 24.28: "First we take the word 'bhukti' ['material enjoyment'], which is of unlimited variety. We may also take the word 'siddhi' ['perfection'], which has eighteen varieties. Similarly, the word 'mukti' has five varieties.
Madhya 24.29: "Causeless devotional service is unmotivated by sense enjoyment, perfection or liberation. When one is freed from all these contaminations, he can bring Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is very funny, under control.
Madhya 24.30: "There are ten meanings for the word 'bhakti' ['devotional service']. One is sādhana-bhakti, execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles, and the other nine are varieties of prema-bhakti, ecstatic love of Godhead.
Madhya 24.31: "Next are explained the symptoms of love of Godhead, which can be divided into nine varieties, beginning with attraction and extending up to ecstatic love and finally up to the topmost ecstatic love [mahābhāva].
Madhya 24.32: "The attraction to Kṛṣṇa of devotees on the platform of neutrality increases up to love of Godhead [prema], and the attraction of devotees on the platform of servitorship increases to spontaneous attachment [rāga].
Madhya 24.33: "Devotees in Vṛndāvana who are friends of the Lord can increase their ecstatic love to the point of anurāga. Parental affectionate lovers, Kṛṣṇa's father and mother, can increase their love of Godhead up to the end of anurāga.
Madhya 24.34: "The gopīs of Vṛndāvana who are attached to Kṛṣṇa in conjugal love can increase their ecstatic love up to the point of mahābhāva, the greatest ecstatic love. These are some of the glorious meanings of the word 'bhakti.'
Madhya 24.35: "Please hear the meaning of the word 'ittham-bhūta-guṇa,' which is found in the ātmārāma verse. 'Ittham-bhūta' has different meanings, and 'guṇa' has other meanings.
Madhya 24.36: "The word 'ittham-bhūta' is transcendentally exalted because it means 'full of transcendental bliss.' Before this transcendental bliss, the bliss derived from merging into the existence of the Absolute [brahmānanda] becomes like a piece of straw in comparison.
Madhya 24.37: "'My dear Lord, O master of the universe, since I have directly seen You, my transcendental bliss has taken the shape of a great ocean. Being situated in that ocean, I now realize all other so-called happiness to be like the water contained in the hoofprint of a calf.'
Madhya 24.38: "Lord Kṛṣṇa is so exalted that He is more attractive than anything else and more pleasing than anything else. He is the most sublime abode of bliss. By His own strength, He causes one to forget all other ecstasies.
Madhya 24.39: "Pure devotional service is so sublime that one can very easily forget the happiness derived from material enjoyment, material liberation and mystic or yogic perfection. Thus the devotee is bound by Kṛṣṇa's mercy and His uncommon power and qualities.
Madhya 24.40: "When one is attracted to Kṛṣṇa on the transcendental platform, there is no longer any logical argument on the basis of revealed scripture, nor are there considerations of such conclusions. This is His transcendental quality that is the essence of all transcendental sweetness.
Madhya 24.41: "The word 'guṇa' means 'quality.' The qualities of Kṛṣṇa are transcendentally situated and are unlimited in quantity. All of the spiritual qualities are full of transcendental bliss.
Madhya 24.42: "Kṛṣṇa's transcendental qualities of opulence, sweetness and mercy are perfect and full. As far as Kṛṣṇa's affectionate leaning toward His devotees is concerned, He is so magnanimous that He can give Himself to His devotees.
Madhya 24.43: "Kṛṣṇa has unlimited qualities. The devotees are attracted by His uncommon beauty, mellows and fragrance. Thus they are differently situated in the different transcendental mellows. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is called all-attractive.
Madhya 24.44: "The minds of the four boy sages [Sanaka, Sanātana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumāra] were attracted to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa by the aroma of the tulasī that had been offered to the Lord.
Madhya 24.45: "'When the breeze carrying the aroma of tulasī leaves and saffron from the lotus feet of the lotus-eyed Personality of Godhead entered through the nostrils into the hearts of those sages [the Kumāras], they experienced a change in both body and mind, even though they were attached to the impersonal Brahman understanding.'
Madhya 24.46: "Śukadeva's mind was carried away by hearing the pastimes of the Lord.
Madhya 24.47: "[Śukadeva Gosvāmī addressed Parīkṣit Mahārāja:] 'My dear King, although I was fully situated in the transcendental position, I was nonetheless attracted to the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Therefore I studied Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from my father.'
Madhya 24.48: "'I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva and the destroyer of all sinful reactions. Being full in self-realization and bliss, he had no material desire. Still, he was attracted by the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and out of compassion for the people he described the transcendental historical literature called Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This is compared to the light of the Absolute Truth.'
Madhya 24.49: "Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa attracts the minds of all the gopīs with His beautiful, transcendental bodily features.
Madhya 24.50: "'Dear Kṛṣṇa, we have simply surrendered ourselves as Your maidservants, for we have seen Your beautiful face decorated with tresses of hair, Your earrings falling upon Your cheeks, the nectar of Your lips, and the beauty of Your smile. Indeed, because we have also been embraced by Your arms, which give us courage, and seen Your chest, which is beautiful and broad, we have surrendered ourselves.'
Madhya 24.51: "The queens in Dvārakā, headed by Rukmiṇī, are also attracted to Kṛṣṇa simply by hearing about His transcendental beauty and qualities.
Madhya 24.52: "'O most beautiful Kṛṣṇa, I have heard about Your transcendental qualities from others, and therefore all my bodily miseries are relieved. If someone sees Your transcendental beauty, his eyes have attained everything profitable in life. O infallible one, I have become shameless after hearing of Your qualities, and I have become attracted to You.'
Madhya 24.53: "Lord Kṛṣṇa even attracts the mind of the goddess of fortune simply by vibrating His transcendental flute.
Madhya 24.54: "'O Lord, we do not know how the serpent Kāliya attained such an opportunity to be touched by the dust of Your lotus feet. For this end, the goddess of fortune performed austerities for centuries, giving up all other desires and taking austere vows. Indeed, we do not know how this serpent Kāliya got such an opportunity.'
Madhya 24.55: "Kṛṣṇa attracts not only the minds of the gopīs and the goddesses of fortune but the minds of all the young girls in the three worlds as well.
Madhya 24.56: "'My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, where is that woman within the three worlds who would not be captivated by the rhythms of the sweet songs coming from Your wonderful flute? Who would not fall down from the path of chastity in this way? Your beauty is the most sublime within the three worlds. Upon seeing Your beauty, even cows, birds, animals and trees in the forest become stunned in jubilation.'
Madhya 24.57: "The women of Vṛndāvana who are on the level of superior guardians are attracted to Lord Kṛṣṇa maternally. The men of Vṛndāvana are attracted as servants, friends and fathers.
Madhya 24.58: "The qualities of Kṛṣṇa captivate and attract everything, living and nonliving. Even birds, animals and trees are attracted to Kṛṣṇa's qualities.
Madhya 24.59: "Although the word 'hari' has many different meanings, two of them are foremost. One meaning is that the Lord takes away all inauspicious things from His devotee, and the second meaning is that He attracts the mind by ecstatic love for God.
Madhya 24.60: "When the devotee somehow or other always remembers the Supreme Personality of Godhead anywhere and everywhere, Lord Hari takes away life's four miserable conditions.
Madhya 24.61: "'As all fuel is burned to ashes by a full-fledged fire, all sinful activities are totally erased when one engages in devotional service to Me.'
Madhya 24.62: "In this way, when all sinful activities are vanquished by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one gradually vanquishes all kinds of impediments on the path of devotional service, as well as the ignorance resulting from these impediments. After this, one totally manifests his original love of Godhead through devotional service in nine different ways — hearing, chanting and so forth.
Madhya 24.63: "When the devotee is freed from all sinful material activities, Kṛṣṇa attracts his body, mind and senses to His service. Thus Kṛṣṇa is very merciful, and His transcendental qualities are very attractive.
Madhya 24.64: "When one's mind, senses and body are attracted to the transcendental qualities of Hari, one gives up the four principles of material success. Thus I have explained the chief meanings of the word 'hari.'
Madhya 24.65: "When the conjunction 'ca' ['and'] and the adverb 'api' ['although'] are added to this verse, the verse can assume whatever meaning one wants to give it.
Madhya 24.66: "The word 'ca' can be explained in seven ways.
Madhya 24.67: "'The word "ca" ["and"] is used to connect a word or sentence with a previous word or sentence, to give the sense of aggregation, to assist the meaning, to give a collective understanding, to suggest another effort or exertion, or to fulfill the meter of a verse. It is also used in the sense of certainty.'
Madhya 24.68: "There are seven chief meanings of the word 'api.' They are as follows.
Madhya 24.69: "'The word "api" is used in the sense of possibility, question, doubt, censure, aggregation, appropriate application of things, and extravagance.'
Madhya 24.70: "I have now described the different meanings of the eleven separate words. Now let Me give the complete meaning of the śloka, as it is applied in different places.
Madhya 24.71: "The word 'brahma' indicates the summum bonum, the Absolute Truth, which is greater than all other truths. It is the original identity, and there can be nothing equal to that Absolute Truth.
Madhya 24.72: "'I offer my respectful obeisances to the Absolute Truth, the summum bonum. He is the all-pervasive, all-increasing subject matter for the great yogīs. He is changeless, and He is the soul of all.'
Madhya 24.73: "The proper meaning of the word 'brahma' is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is one without a second and without whom nothing else exists.
Madhya 24.74: "'Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth say that it is nondual knowledge and is called impersonal Brahman, localized Paramātmā and the Personality of Godhead.'
Madhya 24.75: "That Absolute Truth without a second is Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the supreme truth in the past, present and future. That is the evidence of all revealed scriptures.
Madhya 24.76: "'Prior to the cosmic creation, only I exist, and no phenomena exist, either gross, subtle or primordial. After creation, only I exist in everything, and after annihilation only I remain eternally.'
Madhya 24.77: "The word 'ātmā' ['self'] indicates the highest truth, Kṛṣṇa. He is the all-pervasive witness of all, and He is the supreme form.
Madhya 24.78: "'Hari, the Personality of Godhead, is the all-pervasive original source of everything; He is therefore the Supersoul of everything.'
Madhya 24.79: "There are three ways to attain the lotus feet of the Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa. There is the process of philosophical speculation, the practice of mystic yoga and the execution of devotional service. Each of these has its different characteristics.
Madhya 24.80: "The Absolute Truth is the same, but according to the process by which one understands Him, He appears in three forms — as Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Madhya 24.81: "'Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth say that it is nondual knowledge and is called impersonal Brahman, localized Paramātmā and the Personality of Godhead.'
Madhya 24.82: "Although the words 'brahma' and 'ātmā' indicate Kṛṣṇa, their direct meaning refers only to the impersonal Brahman and the Supersoul respectively.
Madhya 24.83: "If one follows the path of philosophical speculation, the Absolute Truth manifests Himself as impersonal Brahman, and if one follows the path of mystic yoga, He manifests Himself as the Supersoul.
Madhya 24.84: "There are two kinds of devotional activity — spontaneous and regulative. By spontaneous devotional service, one attains the original Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, and by the regulative process one attains the expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Madhya 24.85: "By executing spontaneous devotional service in Vṛndāvana, one attains the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.86: "'The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, the son of mother Yaśodā, is accessible to those devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realization by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self.'
Madhya 24.87: "By executing regulative devotional service, one becomes an associate of Nārāyaṇa and attains the Vaikuṇṭhalokas, the spiritual planets in the spiritual sky.
Madhya 24.88: "'Those who discuss the activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa are on the highest platform of devotional life, and they evince the symptoms of tears in the eyes and bodily jubilation. Such persons discharge devotional service to Kṛṣṇa without practicing the rules and regulations of the mystic yoga system. They possess all spiritual qualities, and they are elevated to the Vaikuṇṭha planets, which exist above us.'
Madhya 24.89: "The devotees are divided into three categories — akāma [desireless], mokṣa-kāma [desiring liberation] and sarva-kāma [desiring material perfection].
Madhya 24.90: "'One who is actually intelligent, although he may be a devotee free from material desires, a karmī desiring all kinds of material facilities, or a jñānī desiring liberation, should seriously engage in bhakti-yoga for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.'
Madhya 24.91: "The meaning of the word 'udāra-dhī' is buddhimān — intelligent or considerate. Because of this, even for one's own sense gratification one engages in the devotional service of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.92: "The other processes cannot yield results unless they are associated with devotional service. Devotional service, however, is so strong and independent that it can give one all the desired results.
Madhya 24.93: "With the exception of devotional service, all the methods of self-realization are like the nipples on the neck of a goat. Therefore an intelligent person adopts only devotional service, giving up all other processes of self-realization.
Madhya 24.94: "'O best among the Bharatas [Arjuna], four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me — the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.'
Madhya 24.95: "Materialistic devotees take to devotional service and worship Kṛṣṇa when they are distressed or in need of money. Those who are actually inquisitive to understand the supreme source of everything and those who are in search of knowledge are called transcendentalists, for they desire liberation from all material contamination.
Madhya 24.96: "Because they have a pious background, all four types of people are to be considered greatly fortunate. Such people gradually give up material desires and become pure devotees.
Madhya 24.97: "One is elevated to the platform of devotional life by the mercy of a Vaiṣṇava, the bona fide spiritual master, and by the special mercy of Kṛṣṇa. On that platform, one gives up all material desires and the association of unwanted people. Thus one is elevated to the platform of pure devotional service.
Madhya 24.98: "'The intelligent, who have understood the Supreme Lord in the association of pure devotees and have become free from bad, materialistic association, can never avoid hearing the glories of the Lord, even though they have heard them only once.'
Madhya 24.99: "Cheating oneself and cheating others is called kaitava. Associating with those who cheat in this way is called duḥsańga, bad association. Those who desire things other than Kṛṣṇa's service are also called duḥsańga, bad association.
Madhya 24.100: "'The great scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, compiled by Mahāmuni Vyāsadeva from four original verses, describes the most elevated and kindhearted devotees and completely rejects the cheating ways of materially motivated religiosity. It propounds the highest principle of eternal religion, which can factually mitigate the threefold miseries of a living being and award the highest benediction of full prosperity and knowledge. Those willing to hear the message of this scripture in a submissive attitude of service can at once capture the Supreme Lord in their hearts. Therefore there is no need for any scripture other than Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.'
Madhya 24.101: "The prefix 'pra' in the word 'projjhita' specifically refers to those desiring liberation or oneness with the Supreme. Such a desire should be understood to be the foremost cheating propensity. The great commentator Śrīdhara Svāmī has explained this verse in that way.
Madhya 24.102: "When merciful Lord Kṛṣṇa understands that a foolish devotee desires material prosperity, He gratefully gives him the shelter of His lotus feet. In this way, the Lord covers the devotee's undesirable ambitions.
Madhya 24.103: "'Whenever Kṛṣṇa is requested to fulfill one's desire, He undoubtedly does so, but He does not award anything which, after being enjoyed, will cause one to petition Him again and again to fulfill further desires. When one has other desires but engages in the Lord's service, Kṛṣṇa forcibly gives one shelter at His lotus feet, where one will forget all other desires.'
Madhya 24.104: "Association with a devotee, the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, and the nature of devotional service help one to give up all undesirable association and gradually attain elevation to the platform of love of Godhead.
Madhya 24.105: "In this way I shall progressively explain all the words in the ātmārāma verse. It should be understood that all these words are meant to enable one to taste the transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.106: "I have given all these explanations just to give some indication of the verse's meaning. Now let Me explain the real meaning of the verse.
Madhya 24.107: "There are two kinds of worshipers on the path of philosophical speculation — one is called brahma-upāsaka, a worshiper of the impersonal Brahman, and the other is called mokṣākāńkṣī, one who desires liberation.
Madhya 24.108: "There are three types of people who worship the impersonal Brahman. The first is the beginner, the second is one whose thoughts are absorbed in Brahman, and the third is one who is actually merged in the impersonal Brahman.
Madhya 24.109: "One cannot attain liberation simply through philosophical speculation devoid of devotional service. However, if one renders devotional service, he is automatically on the Brahman platform.
Madhya 24.110: "Characteristically, one in devotional service is attracted away from the impersonal Brahman platform. He is offered a transcendental body to engage in Lord Kṛṣṇa's service.
Madhya 24.111: "When one gets a devotee's spiritual body, he can remember the transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa. Simply by being attracted to Kṛṣṇa's transcendental qualities, one becomes a pure devotee engaged in His service.
Madhya 24.112: "'Even a liberated soul merged in the impersonal Brahman effulgence is attracted to the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. He thus installs a Deity and renders the Lord service.'
Madhya 24.113: "Although Śukadeva Gosvāmī and the four Kumāras were always absorbed in the thought of impersonal Brahman and were thus Brahmavādīs, they were nonetheless attracted by the transcendental pastimes and qualities of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they later became devotees of Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.114: "The minds of the four Kumāras were attracted by the aroma of the flowers offered to Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet. Being thus attracted by the transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa, they engaged in pure devotional service.
Madhya 24.115: "'When the breeze carrying the aroma of tulasī leaves and saffron from the lotus feet of the lotus-eyed Personality of Godhead entered through the nostrils into the hearts of those sages [the Kumāras], they experienced a change in both body and mind, even though they were attached to the impersonal Brahman understanding.'
Madhya 24.116: "By the mercy of Śrīla Vyāsadeva, Śukadeva Gosvāmī was attracted by the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Being thus attracted by Kṛṣṇa's transcendental qualities, he also became a devotee and engaged in His service.
Madhya 24.117: "'Being very much attracted by the transcendental pastimes of the Lord, the mind of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī was agitated by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He therefore began to study Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by the grace of his father.'
Madhya 24.118: "From their very births, the nine great mystic yogīs [Yogendras] were impersonal philosophers of the Absolute Truth. But because they heard about Lord Kṛṣṇa's qualities from Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and the great sage Nārada, they also became Kṛṣṇa's devotees.
Madhya 24.119: "In the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is a full description of the devotional service of the nine Yogendras, who rendered devotional service because they were attracted by the Lord's transcendental qualities.
Madhya 24.120: "'The nine Yogendras entered Lord Brahmā's association and heard from him the real meaning of the topmost Vedic literatures, the Upaniṣads. Although the Yogendras were already conversant in Vedic knowledge, they became very jubilant in Kṛṣṇa consciousness just by listening to Brahmā. Thus they wanted to enter Dvārakā, the abode of Lord Kṛṣṇa. In this way they finally achieved the place known as Rańga-kṣetra.'
Madhya 24.121: "Those who wish to merge into the impersonal Brahman are also divided into three categories — those desiring to be liberated, those already liberated and those who have realized Brahman.
Madhya 24.122: "There are many people within this material world who desire liberation, and for this purpose they render devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.123: "'Those who want to be relieved from the material clutches give up the worship of the various demigods who have fearful bodily features. Such peaceful devotees, who are not envious of the demigods, worship the different forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa.'
Madhya 24.124: "If those who are attached to demigod worship fortunately associate with the devotees, their dormant devotional service and appreciation of the Lord's qualities gradually awaken. In this way they also engage in Kṛṣṇa's devotional service and give up the desire for liberation and the desire to merge into the existence of impersonal Brahman.
Madhya 24.125: "'O great learned devotee, although there are many faults in this material world, there is one good opportunity — the association with devotees. Such association brings about great happiness. Due to this good quality, our strong desire to achieve liberation by merging into the Brahman effulgence has become weakened.'
Madhya 24.126: "By associating with the great saint Nārada, Śaunaka and other great sages gave up the desire for liberation and engaged in Kṛṣṇa's devotional service.
Madhya 24.127: "Simply by meeting Kṛṣṇa or receiving Kṛṣṇa's special favor, one can give up the desire for liberation. Being attracted by the transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa, one can engage in His service.
Madhya 24.128: "'In this Dvārakā-dhāma, I am being attracted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, who is personified spiritual bliss. Simply by seeing Him, I am feeling great happiness. Oh, I have wasted so much time trying to become self-realized through impersonal cultivation. This is a cause for lamentation!'
Madhya 24.129: "There are many people who are liberated even in this lifetime. Some are liberated by discharging devotional service, and others are liberated through the philosophical speculative process.
Madhya 24.130: "Those who are liberated by devotional service become more and more attracted by the transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa. Thus they engage in His service. Those who are liberated by the speculative process eventually fall down again due to offensive activity.
Madhya 24.131: "'O lotus-eyed one, those who think they are liberated in this life but are without devotional service to You are of impure intelligence. Although they accept severe austerities and penances and rise to the spiritual position, to impersonal Brahman realization, they fall down again because they neglect to worship Your lotus feet.'
Madhya 24.132: "'One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.'
Madhya 24.133: "'Although I was worshiped by those on the path of monism and initiated into self-realization through the yoga system, I have nonetheless been forcibly turned into a maidservant by some cunning boy who is always joking with the gopīs.'
Madhya 24.134: "One who has attained his constitutional position by the strength of devotional service attains a transcendental body even in this lifetime. Being attracted by Lord Kṛṣṇa's transcendental qualities, he fully engages in service at His lotus feet.
Madhya 24.135: "'The living entities and other potencies merge into Mahā-Viṣṇu as the Lord lies down and winds up [destroys] the cosmic manifestation. Liberation means being situated in one's eternal, original form after giving up the changeable gross and subtle bodies.'
Madhya 24.136: "By opposing Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one becomes conditioned and fearful due to the influence of māyā. By executing devotional service faithfully, one is liberated from māyā.
Madhya 24.137: "'When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is separate from Kṛṣṇa, he is overpowered by fear. Because he is separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the material energy, his conception of life is reversed. In other words, instead of being the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, he becomes Kṛṣṇa's competitor. This is called viparyayo 'smṛtiḥ. To nullify this mistake, one who is actually learned and advanced worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his spiritual master, worshipful Deity and source of life. He thus worships the Lord by the process of unalloyed devotional service.'
Madhya 24.138: "'This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.'
Madhya 24.139: "One does not attain liberation without rendering devotional service. Liberation is attained only by devotional service.
Madhya 24.140: "'My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the only auspicious path. If one gives it up simply for speculative knowledge or the understanding that these living beings are spirit souls and the material world is false, he undergoes a great deal of trouble. He only gains troublesome and inauspicious activities. His actions are like beating a husk that is already devoid of rice. His labor becomes fruitless.'
Madhya 24.141: "'O lotus-eyed one, those who think they are liberated in this life but are without devotional service to You are of impure intelligence. Although they accept severe austerities and penances and rise to the spiritual position, to impersonal Brahman realization, they fall down again because they neglect to worship Your lotus feet.'
Madhya 24.142: "'If one simply maintains an official position in the four varṇas and āśramas but does not worship the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu, he falls down from his puffed-up position into a hellish condition.'
Madhya 24.143: "When one is actually liberated by executing devotional service, he always engages in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.
Madhya 24.144: "'Even a liberated soul merged in the impersonal Brahman effulgence is attracted to the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. He thus installs a Deity and renders the Lord service.'
Madhya 24.145: "These six kinds of ātmārāmas engage in the loving service of Kṛṣṇa. The varieties of service are indicated by adding 'ca,' and they also bear the meaning of 'api' ['indeed'].
Madhya 24.146: "The six kinds of ātmārāmas render devotional service to Kṛṣṇa without ulterior motives. The words 'munayaḥ' and 'santaḥ' indicate those who are very much attached to meditating upon Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.147: "The word 'nirgranthāḥ' means 'without ignorance' and 'devoid of rules and regulations.' Whichever meaning fits may be applied.
Madhya 24.148: "The use of the word 'ca' in different places produces different meanings. Over and above them, there is another meaning that is very important.
Madhya 24.149: "Although the words 'ātmārāmāś ca' would be repeated six times, simply by adding the word 'ca,' five 'ātmārāmas' are deleted.
Madhya 24.150: "Therefore there is no need to repeat the word 'ātmārāma.' One is sufficient, and that one word indicates six persons.
Madhya 24.151: "'Of words having the same form and case termination, the last one is the only one retained. For example, the word "rāmāḥ" is used to stand for "rāmaś ca, rāmaś ca, rāmaś ca, etc."'
Madhya 24.152: "By the aggregate use of the word 'ca,' it is indicated that all the ātmārāmas and saints serve and worship Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.153: "'Api' added to the word 'nirgranthāḥ' is used for exposition. Thus I have tried to clarify seven meanings [of the ātmārāma verse].
Madhya 24.154: "The yogī who worships the Supersoul within himself is also called ātmārāma. There are two types of ātmārāma-yogīs.
Madhya 24.155: "The two types of ātmārāma-yogīs are called sagarbha and nigarbha. Each of these is divided into three; therefore there are six types of worshipers of the Supersoul.
Madhya 24.156: "'Some yogīs think of the Lord within their hearts as measuring about six inches. The Lord has four hands, in which He holds a conchshell, club, disc and lotus flower. Those who worship this form of Viṣṇu within the heart are called sagarbha-yogīs.'
Madhya 24.157: "'When one is in ecstatic love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one's heart is melted by bhakti-yoga and one feels transcendental bliss. There are bodily symptoms manifest, and due to eagerness, there are tears in the eyes. Thus one is subjected to spiritual bliss. When the heart is overly afflicted, the meditative mind, like a fishing hook, is gradually separated from the object of meditation.'
Madhya 24.158: "By these three divisions of advancement in yoga — yogārurukṣu, yogārūḍha and prāpta-siddhi — there are six kinds of mystic yogīs.
Madhya 24.159: "'For those saintly persons who wish to rise to the platform of yogic perfection, the means consists of practicing the yoga system by strictly following its regulative principles and practicing the yoga postures, āsanas and breathing exercises. And for those who are already elevated to this platform, the means consists of maintaining mental equilibrium [śama] by rejecting all material activity and practicing meditation to keep the mind on the Supreme Lord.
Madhya 24.160: "'When a person is no longer interested in acting for sense gratification and when he renounces all material desires, he is said to be situated in perfect yoga [yogārūḍha].'
Madhya 24.161: "When a purified yogī associates with devotees, he engages in Lord Kṛṣṇa's devotional service, being attracted by the Lord's transcendental qualities.
Madhya 24.162: "The meanings of the words 'ca' and 'api' can be applied here. The meanings of the words 'muni' and 'nirgrantha' are the same as before.
Madhya 24.163: "The word 'ahaitukī' is always applicable to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Urukrama. In this way I have described thirteen complete meanings [of the ātmārāma verse].
Madhya 24.164: "These thirteen types of yogīs and munis are called śānta-bhaktas, for they render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the neutral stage.
Madhya 24.165: "The word 'ātmā' sometimes means 'the mind.' In this case the word 'ātmārāma' means 'a person who is satisfied by mental speculation.' When such a person associates with a pure devotee, he takes to devotional service at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.166: "'Those who follow the path of great, saintly mystic yogīs take to the yogic gymnastic process and begin worshiping from the abdomen, where it is said that Brahman is located. Such people are called śārkarākṣa, which means that they are situated in the gross bodily conception. There are also followers of the ṛṣi known as Āruṇa. Following his path, they observe the activities of the arteries. Thus they gradually rise to the heart, where subtle Brahman, Paramātmā, is situated. They then worship Him. O unlimited Ananta! Better than these persons are the mystic yogīs who worship You from the top of their heads. Beginning with the abdomen and proceeding through the heart, they reach the top of the head and pass through the brahma-randhra, the hole at the top of the skull. Thus these yogīs attain the perfectional platform and do not enter the cycle of birth and death again.'
Madhya 24.167: "Being attracted by the transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa, such yogīs become great saints. At that time, not being hampered by the yogic process, they engage in unalloyed devotional service.
Madhya 24.168: "'Ātmā' also means 'endeavor.' Being attracted by Kṛṣṇa's transcendental qualities, some saints make a great endeavor to come to the point of rendering service to Him.
Madhya 24.169: "'The transcendental position cannot be attained by wandering up and down from Brahmaloka and Satyaloka to Pātālaloka. If one is actually intelligent and learned, he should endeavor for that rare transcendental position. By the force of time one attains whatever material happiness is available within the fourteen worlds, just as one attains distress in due course of time. But since spiritual consciousness is not attained in this way, one should try for it.'
Madhya 24.170: "'Those who are eager to awaken their spiritual consciousness and who thus have unflinching, undeviated intelligence certainly attain the desired goal of life very soon.'
Madhya 24.171: "The word 'ca' may be used in place of 'api,' which gives emphasis to something. Thus it means that without sincere endeavor in devotional service, one cannot attain love of Godhead.
Madhya 24.172: "'Devotional perfection is very difficult to attain for two reasons. First, unless one is attached to Kṛṣṇa, he cannot attain devotional perfection even if he renders devotional service for a long time. Second, Kṛṣṇa does not easily deliver perfection in devotional service.'
Madhya 24.173: "'To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.'
Madhya 24.174: "Another meaning of 'ātmā' is dhṛti, or endurance. A person who endeavors with endurance is ātmārāma. With endurance, such a person engages in devotional service.
Madhya 24.175: "The word 'muni' also means 'bird' and 'bumblebee.' The word 'nirgrantha' refers to foolish people. By the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, such creatures contact a sādhu [spiritual master] and thus engage in devotional service.
Madhya 24.176: "'My dear mother, in this forest, all the birds, after rising on the beautiful branches of the trees, are closing their eyes and, not being attracted by any other sound, are simply listening to the vibration of Kṛṣṇa's flute. Such birds must be on the same level as great saints.'
Madhya 24.177: "'O good fortune personified! O original Personality of Godhead, all these bees are chanting about Your transcendental fame, which will purify the entire universe. Indeed, they are following Your path in the forest and are worshiping You. Actually they are all saintly persons, but now they have taken the form of bees. Although You are playing like a human being, they could not forget that You are their worshipable Deity.'
Madhya 24.178: "'All the cranes and swans in the water are being enchanted by the melodious song of Kṛṣṇa's flute. They have approached and are worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead with full attention. Alas, they are closing their eyes and are becoming completely silent.'
Madhya 24.179: "'Kirātas, Hūnas, Āndhras, Pulindas, Pukkaśas, Ābhīras, Śumbhas, Yavanas and members of the Khaśa races, and even others who are addicted to sinful acts, can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.'
Madhya 24.180: "The word 'dhṛti' is also used when one is fully perfect in knowledge. When, due to having obtained the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one has no material miseries, he attains mahā-pūrṇa, the highest level of perfection.
Madhya 24.181: "'Dhṛti is the fullness felt due to the absence of misery and the attainment of knowledge of the Supreme Lord and pure love for Him. The lamentation that accrues from not obtaining a goal or from losing something already attained does not affect this completeness.'
Madhya 24.182: "A devotee of Kṛṣṇa is never in a miserable condition, nor does he have any desire other than to serve Kṛṣṇa. He is experienced and advanced. He feels the transcendental bliss of love of Kṛṣṇa and always engages in His service in full perfection.
Madhya 24.183: "'My devotees, having fulfilled their desires by serving Me, do not accept the four kinds of salvation that are easily earned by such service. Why then should they accept any pleasures that are lost in the course of time?'
Madhya 24.184: "'In this material world, all living entities are disturbed due to their flickering position. A devotee, however, is fixed in the service of the lotus feet of the Lord, the master of the senses. Such a person is to be considered situated in endurance and patience.'
Madhya 24.185: "The word 'ca' is for emphasis, and the word 'api' is used to indicate an aggregate. Thus it is to be understood that even dull creatures [birds and illiterates] can also be situated in endurance and engage in Kṛṣṇa's devotional service.
Madhya 24.186: "The word 'ātmā' is also used for a particular type of intelligence. Since all living entities generally have some intelligence, more or less, they are included.
Madhya 24.187: "Everyone has some kind of intelligence, and one who utilizes his intelligence is called an ātmārāma. There are two types of ātmārāmas. One is a learned scholar and philosopher, and the other is an uneducated, illiterate, foolish person.
Madhya 24.188: "By the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and by the association of devotees, one increases his attraction to and intelligence for pure devotional service; therefore one gives up everything and engages himself at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and His pure devotees.
Madhya 24.189: "'I [Kṛṣṇa] am the original source of everything. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My service with love and devotion.'
Madhya 24.190: "'Women, fourth-class men, uncivilized hill tribes, hunters and many others born of low families, as well as birds and beasts, can engage in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead — who acts very wonderfully — and follow the path of the devotees and take lessons from them. Although the ocean of nescience is vast, they can still cross over it. What, then, is the difficulty for those who are advanced in Vedic knowledge?'
Madhya 24.191: "Considering all these points, when one engages in the service of Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, Kṛṣṇa gives one the intelligence by which he can gradually progress toward perfection in service to the Lord.
Madhya 24.192: "'To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.'
Madhya 24.193: "To be elevated to the platform of devotional service, the following five items should be observed: association with devotees, engagement in the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the reading of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the chanting of the holy names and residence at Vṛndāvana or Mathurā.
Madhya 24.194: "One's dormant love for Kṛṣṇa gradually awakens if one is a little advanced in one of these five items and is intelligent.
Madhya 24.195: "'The power of these five principles is very wonderful and difficult to understand. Even without faith in them, a person who is offenseless can awaken his dormant love of Kṛṣṇa simply by being a little connected with them.'
Madhya 24.196: "If a person is actually liberal and intelligent, he can advance and become perfect in devotional service even if he has material desires and serves the Lord with some motive.
Madhya 24.197: "'Whether one desires everything or nothing, or whether he desires to merge into the existence of the Lord, he is intelligent only if he worships Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by rendering transcendental loving service.'
Madhya 24.198: "Devotional service is so strong that when one engages in it, he gradually gives up all material desires and becomes fully attracted to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. All this is brought about by attraction for the transcendental qualities of the Lord.
Madhya 24.199: "'Whenever Kṛṣṇa is requested to fulfill one's desire, He undoubtedly does so, but He does not award anything which, after being enjoyed, will cause one to petition Him again and again to fulfill further desires. When one has other desires but engages in the Lord's service, Kṛṣṇa forcibly gives one shelter at His lotus feet, where one will forget all other desires.'
Madhya 24.200: "Another meaning of the word 'ātmā' is 'one's characteristic nature.' Whoever enjoys his particular type of nature is called ātmārāma. Therefore, all living entities — be they moving or nonmoving — are also called ātmārāma.
Madhya 24.201: "The original nature of every living entity is to consider himself the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. But under the influence of māyā he thinks himself to be the body, and thus his original consciousness is covered.
Madhya 24.202: "In that case, by the word 'ca,' the word 'eva' is meant. The word 'api' can be taken in the sense of aggregation. Thus the verse would read ātmārāmā eva — that is, 'even all kinds of living beings worship Kṛṣṇa.'
Madhya 24.203: "Living entities include great personalities like the four Kumāras, and also low-class foolish people, trees, plants, birds and beasts.
Madhya 24.204: "The devotional service of Vyāsa, Śuka and the four Kumāras has already been well celebrated. Now let Me explain how immovable living entities like trees and plants engage in the Lord's devotional service.
Madhya 24.205: "Everyone is eligible to receive Kṛṣṇa's mercy — including Vyāsadeva, the four Kumāras, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, lowborn creatures, trees, plants and beasts. By Kṛṣṇa's mercy they are elevated and engaged in His service.
Madhya 24.206: "'This land of Vṛndāvana [Vrajabhūmi] is glorified today because Your lotus feet have touched her earth and grass, Your fingernails have touched her trees and creepers, and Your merciful eyes have glanced upon her rivers, hills, birds and beasts. The gopīs have been embraced by Your arms, and even the goddess of fortune desires this. Now all of these are glorified.'
Madhya 24.207: "'My dear friend, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma are passing through the forest leading Their cows with Their cowherd boyfriends. They both carry ropes with which, at the time of milking, They bind the rear legs of the cows. When They play on Their flutes, all moving living entities are stunned, and nonmoving living entities experience ecstatic jubilation by Their sweet music. All these things are certainly very wonderful.'
Madhya 24.208: "'The plants, creepers and trees were full of fruits and flowers due to ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa. Indeed, being so full, they were bowing down. They were inspired by such deep love for Kṛṣṇa that they were constantly pouring showers of honey. In this way the gopīs saw all the forests of Vṛndāvana.'
Madhya 24.209: "'Kirātas, Hūnas, Āndhras, Pulindas, Pukkaśas, Ābhīras, Śumbhas, Yavanas and members of the Khaśa races, and even others who are addicted to sinful acts, can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.'
Madhya 24.210: "I have already spoken about thirteen meanings [of the ātmārāma verse]. Now there are six more. Combined, these make nineteen.
Madhya 24.211: "I have already explained nineteen different meanings. Now please hear further meanings. The word 'ātma' also refers to the body, and this can be taken in four ways.
Madhya 24.212: "One in the bodily conception worships his own body as Brahman, but when he comes in contact with a devotee, he gives up this mistaken idea and engages himself in the devotional service of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.213: "'Those who follow the path of great, saintly mystic yogīs take to the yogic gymnastic process and begin worshiping from the abdomen, where it is said that Brahman is located. Such people are called śārkarākṣa, which means that they are situated in the gross bodily conception. There are also followers of the ṛṣi known as Āruṇa. Following his path, they observe the activities of the arteries. Thus they gradually rise to the heart, where subtle Brahman, Paramātmā, is situated. They then worship Him. O unlimited Ananta! Better than these persons are the mystic yogīs who worship You from the top of their heads. Beginning with the abdomen and proceeding through the heart, they reach the top of the head and pass through the brahma-randhra, the hole at the top of the skull. Thus these yogīs attain the perfectional platform and do not enter the cycle of birth and death again.'
Madhya 24.214: "Those who are in the bodily conception mainly engage in fruitive activity. Those who perform yajñas and ritualistic ceremonies are also considered in the same category. However, when such persons come in contact with the pure devotee, they give up their fruitive activity and fully engage in the service of the Lord.
Madhya 24.215: "'We have just begun performing this fruitive activity, a sacrificial fire, but due to the many imperfections in our action, we are not certain of its result. Our bodies have become black from the smoke, but we are factually pleased by the nectar of the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, Govinda, which you are distributing.'
Madhya 24.216: "The tapasvīs, those who undergo severe austerities and penances to elevate themselves to the higher planetary systems, are also in the same category. When such persons come in contact with a devotee, they give up all those practices and engage in Lord Kṛṣṇa's service.
Madhya 24.217: "'The taste for loving service is like the water of the river Ganges, which flows from the feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Every day that taste diminishes the results of sinful activities acquired over a period of many births by those who perform austerities.'
Madhya 24.218: "As long as one labors under the bodily conception, he must fulfill volumes and volumes of material desires. Thus a person is called ātmārāma. When such an ātmārāma is favored by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, he gives up his so-called self-satisfaction and engages in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.
Madhya 24.219: "[When he was being blessed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Dhruva Mahārāja said:] 'O my Lord, because I was seeking an opulent material position, I was performing severe types of penance and austerity. Now I have gotten You, who are very difficult for the great demigods, saintly persons and kings to attain. I was searching after a piece of glass, but instead I have found a most valuable jewel. Therefore I am so satisfied that I do not wish to ask any benediction from You.'
Madhya 24.220: "In addition to the nineteen meanings of the verse mentioned previously, there are these four further meanings when the word 'ātmārāma' is taken to mean 'those laboring under the bodily conception.' This brings the total to twenty-three. Now hear of another three meanings, which are very suitable.
Madhya 24.221: "As mentioned above, the word 'ca' can be used to mean 'aggregate.' According to this meaning, all the ātmārāmas and munis engage in Kṛṣṇa's service. Besides 'aggregate,' there is another meaning of the word 'ca.'
Madhya 24.222: "The word 'nirgranthāḥ' can be used as an adjective, and 'api' can be used in the sense of certainty. For instance, rāmaś ca kṛṣṇaś ca means that both Rāma and Kṛṣṇa enjoy walking in the forest.
Madhya 24.223: "The word 'ca' can also present a secondary thing to be done at the same time. This way of understanding the word 'ca' is called anvācaye. An example is 'O brahmacārī, go out to collect alms and at the same time bring in the cows.'
Madhya 24.224: "Saintly persons who are always meditating upon Kṛṣṇa are engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. The ātmārāmas are also engaged in the Lord's service. That is the indirect import.
Madhya 24.225: "The word 'ca' can also be used to indicate the certainty that only saintly persons are engaged in rendering devotional service to Kṛṣṇa. In the combination 'ātmārāmā api,' 'api' is used in the sense of censure.
Madhya 24.226: "The word 'nirgrantha' can be taken as an adjective modifying 'muni' and 'ātmārāma.' There is another meaning, which you may hear from Me, indicating association with a devotee. Now I shall explain how it is that through the association of devotees, even a nirgrantha can become a devotee.
Madhya 24.227: "The word 'nirgrantha,' when combined with 'api' used in the sense of certainty, indicates a person who is a hunter by profession or who is very poor. Nonetheless, when such a person associates with a great saint like Nārada, he engages in Lord Kṛṣṇa's devotional service.
Madhya 24.228: "The words 'kṛṣṇārāmaś ca' refer to one who takes pleasure in thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Even though such a person may be a hunter, he is still worshipable and is the best of devotees.
Madhya 24.229: "I shall now narrate the story of how a hunter became a great devotee by the association of such an exalted personality as Nārada Muni. From this story, one can understand the greatness of association with pure devotees.
Madhya 24.230: "Once upon a time the great saint Nārada, after visiting Lord Nārāyaṇa in the Vaikuṇṭhas, went to Prayāga to bathe at the confluence of three rivers — the Ganges, Yamunā and Sarasvatī.
Madhya 24.231: "Nārada Muni saw that a deer was lying on the path through the forest and that it was pierced by an arrow. It had broken legs and was twisting due to much pain.
Madhya 24.232: "Farther ahead, Nārada Muni saw a boar pierced by an arrow. Its legs were also broken, and it was twisting in pain.
Madhya 24.233: "When he went farther, he saw a rabbit that was also suffering. Nārada Muni was greatly pained at heart to see living entities suffer so.
Madhya 24.234: "When Nārada Muni advanced farther, he saw a hunter behind a tree. This hunter was holding arrows, and he was ready to kill more animals.
Madhya 24.235: "The hunter's body was blackish. He had reddish eyes, and he appeared fierce. It was as if the superintendent of death, Yamarāja, were standing there with a bow and arrows in his hands.
Madhya 24.236: "When Nārada Muni left the forest path and went to the hunter, all the animals immediately saw him and fled.
Madhya 24.237: "When all the animals fled, the hunter wanted to chastise Nārada with abusive language, but due to Nārada's presence, he could not utter anything abusive.
Madhya 24.238: "The hunter addressed Nārada Muni: 'O gosvāmī! O great saintly person! Why have you left the general path through the forest to come to me? Simply by seeing you, all the animals I was hunting have now fled.'
Madhya 24.239: "Nārada Muni replied, 'Leaving the path, I have come to you to settle a doubt that is in my mind.
Madhya 24.240: "'I was wondering whether all the boars and other animals that are half-killed belong to you.'"The hunter replied, 'Yes, what you are saying is so.'
Madhya 24.241: "Nārada Muni then inquired, 'Why did you not kill the animals completely? Why did you half-kill them by piercing their bodies with arrows?'
Madhya 24.242: "The hunter replied, 'My dear saintly person, my name is Mṛgāri, enemy of animals. My father taught me to kill them in that way.
Madhya 24.243: "'When I see half-killed animals suffer, I feel great pleasure.'
Madhya 24.244: "Nārada Muni then told the hunter, 'I have one thing to beg of you.'"The hunter replied, 'You may take whatever animals or anything else you would like.
Madhya 24.245: "'I have many skins, if you would like them. I shall give you either a deerskin or a tiger skin.'
Madhya 24.246: "Nārada Muni said, 'I do not want any of the skins. I am asking only one thing from you in charity.
Madhya 24.247: "'I beg you that from this day on you will kill animals completely and not leave them half-dead.'
Madhya 24.248: "The hunter replied, 'My dear sir, what are you asking of me? What is wrong with the animals' lying there half-killed? Will you please explain this to me?'
Madhya 24.249: "Nārada Muni replied, 'If you leave the animals half-dead, you are purposefully giving them pain. Therefore you will have to suffer in retaliation.'
Madhya 24.250: "Nārada Muni continued, 'My dear hunter, your business is killing animals. That is a slight offense on your part. But when you consciously give them unnecessary pain by leaving them half-dead, you incur very great sins.'
Madhya 24.251: "Nārada Muni continued, 'All the animals that you have killed and given unnecessary pain will kill you one after the other in your next life and in life after life.'
Madhya 24.252: "In this way, through the association of the great sage Nārada Muni, the hunter was a little convinced of his sinful activity. He therefore became somewhat afraid due to his offenses.
Madhya 24.253: "The hunter then admitted that he was convinced of his sinful activity, and he said, 'I have been taught this business from my very childhood. Now I am wondering how I can become freed from these unlimited volumes of sinful activity.'
Madhya 24.254: "The hunter continued, 'My dear sir, please tell me how I can be relieved from the reactions of my sinful life. Now I fully surrender unto you and fall down at your lotus feet. Please deliver me from sinful reactions.'
Madhya 24.255: "Nārada Muni assured the hunter, 'If you listen to my instructions, I shall find the way you can be liberated.'
Madhya 24.256: "The hunter then said, 'My dear sir, whatever you say I shall do.'"Nārada immediately ordered him, 'First of all, break your bow. Then I shall tell you what is to be done.'
Madhya 24.257: "The hunter replied, 'If I break my bow, how shall I maintain myself?'"Nārada Muni replied, 'Do not worry. I shall supply all your food every day.'
Madhya 24.258: "Being thus assured by the great sage Nārada Muni, the hunter broke his bow, immediately fell down at the saint's lotus feet and fully surrendered. After this, Nārada Muni raised him with his hand and gave him instructions for spiritual advancement.
Madhya 24.259: "Nārada Muni then advised the hunter, 'Return home and distribute whatever riches you have to the pure brāhmaṇas who know the Absolute Truth. After you have distributed all your riches to the brāhmaṇas, you and your wife should leave home, each of you taking only one cloth to wear.'
Madhya 24.260: "Nārada Muni continued, 'Leave your home and go to the river. There you should construct a small cottage, and in front of the cottage you should grow a tulasī plant on a raised platform.
Madhya 24.261: "'After planting the tulasī tree before your house, you should daily circumambulate that tulasī plant, serve her by giving her water and other things, and continuously chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.'
Madhya 24.262: "Nārada Muni continued, 'Every day I shall send sufficient food to you both. You can take as much food as you want.'
Madhya 24.263: "The three animals that were half-killed were then brought to their consciousness by the sage Nārada. Indeed, the animals got up and swiftly fled.
Madhya 24.264: "When the hunter saw the half-killed animals flee, he was certainly struck with wonder. He then offered his respectful obeisances to the sage Nārada and returned home.
Madhya 24.265: "After all this, Nārada Muni went to his destination. After the hunter returned home, he exactly followed the instructions of his spiritual master, Nārada.
Madhya 24.266: "The news that the hunter had become a Vaiṣṇava spread all over the village. Indeed, all the villagers brought alms and presented them to the Vaiṣṇava who had formerly been a hunter.
Madhya 24.267: "In one day enough food was brought for ten or twenty people, but the hunter and his wife would accept only as much as they could eat.
Madhya 24.268: "One day, while speaking to his friend Parvata Muni, Nārada Muni requested him to go with him to see his disciple the hunter.
Madhya 24.269: "As the saintly sages approached the hunter's place, the hunter could see them from a distance.
Madhya 24.270: "With great alacrity the hunter began to run toward his spiritual master, but he could not fall down and offer obeisances because ants were running hither and thither around his feet.
Madhya 24.271: "Seeing the ants, the hunter whisked them away with a piece of cloth. After thus clearing the ants from the ground, he fell down flat to offer his obeisances.
Madhya 24.272: "Nārada Muni said, 'My dear hunter, such behavior is not at all astonishing. A man in devotional service is automatically nonviolent. He is the best of gentlemen.
Madhya 24.273: "'O hunter, good qualities like nonviolence, which you have developed, are not very astonishing, for those engaged in the Lord's devotional service are never inclined to give pain to others because of envy.'
Madhya 24.274: "The hunter then received the two great sages in the courtyard of his house. He spread out a straw mat for them to sit upon, and with great devotion he begged them to sit down.
Madhya 24.275: "He then fetched water and washed the sages' feet with great devotion. Then both husband and wife drank that water and sprinkled it on their heads.
Madhya 24.276: "When the hunter chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra before his spiritual master, his body trembled and tears welled up in his eyes. Filled with ecstatic love, he raised his hands and began to dance, waving his garments up and down.
Madhya 24.277: "When Parvata Muni saw the ecstatic loving symptoms of the hunter, he told Nārada, 'Certainly you are a touchstone.'
Madhya 24.278: "Parvata Muni continued, 'My dear friend Nārada Muni, you are glorified as the sage among the demigods. By your mercy, even a lowborn person like this hunter can immediately become attached to Lord Kṛṣṇa.'
Madhya 24.279: "Nārada Muni then asked the hunter, 'My dear Vaiṣṇava, do you have some income for your maintenance?'"The hunter replied, 'My dear spiritual master, whoever you send gives me something when he comes to see me.'
Madhya 24.280: "The former hunter said, 'Please do not send so much grain. Only send what is sufficient for two people, no more.'
Madhya 24.281: "Nārada Muni approved his not wanting more than a daily supply of food, and he blessed him, saying, 'You are fortunate.' Nārada Muni and Parvata Muni then disappeared from that place.
Madhya 24.282: "Thus I have narrated the incident of the hunter. By hearing this narration, one can understand the influence of association with devotees.
Madhya 24.283: "In this way we have found three more meanings [of the ātmārāma verse]. Combine these with the other meanings, and the total number of meanings adds up to twenty-six in all.
Madhya 24.284: "There is yet another meaning, which is full of a variety of imports. Actually there are two gross meanings and thirty-two subtle meanings.
Madhya 24.285: "The word 'ātmā' refers to all the different expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One of them is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, Kṛṣṇa, and the others are different incarnations or expansions of Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.286: "One who always engages in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is called ātmārāma. There are two types of ātmārāmas. One is an ātmārāma engaged in regulative devotional service, and the other is an ātmārāma engaged in spontaneous devotional service.
Madhya 24.287: "Both the ātmārāmas engaged in regulative devotional service and those engaged in spontaneous devotional service are further categorized into four groups. There are the eternal associates, the associates who have become perfect by devotional service, and those who are practicing devotional service and are called sādhakas, of whom there are two varieties.
Madhya 24.288: "Those who are practicing devotional service are either mature or immature. Therefore the sādhakas are of two types. Since the devotees execute either regulative devotional service or spontaneous devotional service and there are four groups within these two divisions, altogether there are eight varieties.
Madhya 24.289: "By executing regulative devotional service, one is elevated to the platform of an eternally perfect associate, such as a servant, friend, superior or beloved woman. Each of these is of four varieties.
Madhya 24.290: "Among those who have perfected themselves by devotional service, there are servants, friends, superiors and beloved damsels. Similarly, there are four types of mature devotees.
Madhya 24.291: "Within the category of regulative devotional service, there are also immature devotees. These are also of four varieties. Thus in regulative devotional service there are altogether sixteen varieties.
Madhya 24.292: "On the path of spontaneous devotional service, there are also sixteen categories of devotees. Thus there are thirty-two types of ātmārāmas enjoying the Supreme Lord on these two paths.
Madhya 24.293: "When these thirty-two types of devotees are qualified with the words 'muni,' 'nirgrantha,' 'ca' and 'api,' the meanings can be increased in different ways and very soundly elaborated upon.
Madhya 24.294: "When we add the twenty-six types of devotees to these thirty-two, they altogether number fifty-eight. You may now hear from Me of further manifestations of meanings.
Madhya 24.295: "In this way, as I add the word 'ca' to one word after another, I make a compound. Thus the different names of ātmārāmas can be taken fifty-eight times.
Madhya 24.296: "In this way, one can repeat the word 'ātmārāmāḥ' with 'ca' for each of the fifty-eight meanings. By following the rule previously stated and rejecting all but the last, we retain that which represents all the meanings.
Madhya 24.297: "'Of words having the same form and case termination, the last one is the only one retained.'
Madhya 24.298: "When all the ca-kāras, or additions of the word 'ca,' are taken away, fifty-eight different meanings can still be understood by the one word 'ātmārāma.'
Madhya 24.299: "'By the plural word 'vṛkṣāḥ' ['trees'], all trees, such as banyan trees, fig trees, kapittha trees and mango trees, are indicated.'
Madhya 24.300: "The ātmārāma verse is like the sentence 'In this forest many different trees bear fruit.' All ātmārāmas render devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.301: "After uttering the word 'ātmārāmāḥ' fifty-eight times and taking 'ca' in a sense of aggregation, one may add the word 'munayaḥ.' That will mean that great sages also render devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa. In this way there are fifty-nine meanings.
Madhya 24.302: "Then taking the word 'nirgranthāḥ' and considering 'api' in the sense of sustenance, I have tried to explain a fifty-ninth meaning of the verse.
Madhya 24.303: "Taking all the words together, there is another meaning. Whether one is an ātmārāma, a great sage or a nirgrantha, everyone must engage in the service of the Lord.
Madhya 24.304: "The word 'api' is then used in the sense of ascertainment, and then the word 'eva' can be uttered four times with four words.
Madhya 24.305: "The words 'urukrama,' 'bhakti,' 'ahaitukī' and 'kurvanti' are added to the word 'eva' again and again. Thus another meaning is explained.
Madhya 24.306: "Now I have given sixty different meanings of the verse, and yet there is another meaning which is also very strongly evident.
Madhya 24.307: "The word 'ātmā' also refers to the living entity who knows about his body. That is another symptom. From Lord Brahmā down to the insignificant ant, everyone is counted as the marginal potency of the Lord.
Madhya 24.308: "'The potency of Lord Viṣṇu is summarized in three categories — namely the spiritual potency, the living entities and ignorance. The spiritual potency is full of knowledge; the living entities, although belonging to the spiritual potency, are subject to bewilderment; and the third energy, which is full of ignorance, is always visible in fruitive activities.'
Madhya 24.309: "'The word 'kṣetrajña' refers to the living entity, the enjoyer, the chief and material nature.'
Madhya 24.310: "The living entities are wandering in different species of life on different planets, but if by chance they get the association of a pure devotee [sādhu], they give up all other engagements and engage in the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.311: "I have thus explained sixty different meanings, and all of them aim at the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa. After giving so many examples, that is the only meaning.
Madhya 24.312: "Now, due to your association, another meaning has awakened. It is due to your devotional service that these waves of meaning are arising.
Madhya 24.313: "[Lord Śiva said:] 'I may know; Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva, may know; and Vyāsadeva may know or may not know Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. On the whole, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the spotless Purāṇa, can be learned only through devotional service, not by material intelligence, speculative methods or imaginary commentaries.'"
Madhya 24.314: After hearing all the explanations of all the different meanings of the ātmārāma verse, Sanātana Gosvāmī was struck with wonder. He fell down at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and began to offer prayers.
Madhya 24.315: Sanātana Gosvāmī said, "My dear Lord, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, the son of Mahārāja Nanda. All the Vedic literatures are vibrated through Your breathing.
Madhya 24.316: "My dear Lord, You are the original speaker of the Bhāgavatam. You therefore know its real import. But for You, no one can understand the confidential meaning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam."
Madhya 24.317: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, "Why are you glorifying Me personally? You should understand the transcendental position of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Why don't you consider this important point?
Madhya 24.318: "Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is as great as Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord and shelter of everything. In each and every verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and in each and every syllable, there are various meanings.
Madhya 24.319: "The form of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is given in questions and answers. Thus the conclusion is established. By hearing these questions and answers, one is highly astonished.
Madhya 24.320: "'Now that Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Truth, the master of all mystic powers, has departed for His own abode, please tell us by whom religious principles are presently protected.'
Madhya 24.321: "'After Lord Kṛṣṇa departed for His abode along with religious principles and transcendental knowledge, this Purāṇa, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, has arisen like the sun in this Age of Kali to enlighten those who have no spiritual vision.'
Madhya 24.322: "In this way, like a madman, I have explained the meaning of just one verse. I do not know who will take this as evidence.
Madhya 24.323: "If one becomes a madman like Me, he may also understand the meaning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by this process."
Madhya 24.324: Folding his hands, Sanātana Gosvāmī said, "My Lord, You ordered me to write a directory about the activities of Vaiṣṇavas.
Madhya 24.325: "I am a most lowborn person. I have no knowledge of good behavior. How is it possible for me to write authorized directions about Vaiṣṇava activities?"
Madhya 24.326: Sanātana Gosvāmī then requested the Lord, "Please personally tell me how I can write this difficult book about Vaiṣṇava behavior. Please manifest Yourself in my heart.
Madhya 24.327: "If You would please manifest Yourself within my heart and personally direct me in writing this book, then, although I am lowborn, I may hope to be able to write it. You can do this because You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead Yourself, and whatever You direct is perfect."
Madhya 24.328: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, "Whatever you want to do you will be able to do correctly by Lord Kṛṣṇa's favor. He will manifest the real purport.
Madhya 24.329: "Because you asked Me for a synopsis, please hear these few indications. In the beginning describe how one must take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master.
Madhya 24.330: "Your book should describe the characteristics of the bona fide guru and the bona fide disciple. Then, before accepting a spiritual master, one can be assured of the spiritual master's position. Similarly, the spiritual master can also be assured of the disciple's position. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, should be described as the worshipable object, and you should describe the bīja-mantra for the worship of Kṛṣṇa, as well as that for Rāma or any other expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Madhya 24.331: "You should discuss the qualifications necessary for receiving a mantra, the perfection of the mantra, the purification of the mantra, initiation, morning duties, remembrance of the Supreme Lord, cleanliness and washing the mouth and other parts of the body.
Madhya 24.332: "You should describe how in the morning one should regularly brush his teeth, take his bath, offer prayers to the Lord and offer obeisances to the spiritual master. You should also describe how one should render service to the spiritual master and paint one's body in twelve places with ūrdhva-puṇḍra [tilaka], as well as how one should stamp one's body with the holy names of the Lord or the symbols of the Lord, such as the disc and club.
Madhya 24.333: "After this, you should describe how one should decorate his body with gopīcandana, wear neck beads, collect tulasī leaves from the tulasī tree, cleanse his cloth and the altar, cleanse his own house or apartment and go to the temple and ring the bell just to draw the attention of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 24.334: "Also describe Deity worship, wherein one should offer food to Kṛṣṇa at least five times daily and in due time place Him on a bed. You should also describe the process for offering ārati and the worship of the Lord according to the list of five, sixteen or fifty ingredients.
Madhya 24.335: "The characteristics of the Deities should be discussed, as well as the characteristics of the śālagrāma-śilā. You should also discuss visiting the Deities in the temple and touring holy places like Vṛndāvana, Mathurā and Dvārakā.
Madhya 24.336: "You should glorify the holy name and explain that one must carefully give up offenses when chanting the holy name. You should also describe the symptoms of a Vaiṣṇava and explain that one must give up or nullify all kinds of sevā-aparādha, offenses in Deity worship.
Madhya 24.337: "The items of worship, such as water, conchshell, flowers, incense and lamp, should be described. You should also mention chanting softly, offering prayers, circumambulating and offering obeisances. All these should be carefully described.
Madhya 24.338: "Other items you should describe are the method of performing puraścaraṇa, taking kṛṣṇa-prasādam, giving up unoffered food and not blaspheming the Lord's devotees.
Madhya 24.339: "You should describe the symptoms of a devotee, how to associate with devotees, how to satisfy a devotee by rendering service, and how to give up the association of nondevotees. You should also explain the value of regularly hearing the recitation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Madhya 24.340: "You should describe the ritualistic duties to be performed every day, and you should also describe the fortnightly duties — especially how to observe the fortnightly Ekādaśī fast. You should also describe the duties to be observed every month, and you should especially describe the observance of ceremonies like Janmāṣṭamī, Rāma-navamī and Nṛsiḿha-caturdaśī.
Madhya 24.341: "Ekādaśī, Janmāṣṭamī, Vāmana-dvādaśī, Rāma-navamī and Nṛsiḿha-caturdaśī — all these should be described.
Madhya 24.342: "You should recommend the avoidance of mixed Ekādaśī and the performance of pure Ekādaśī. You should also describe the fault in not observing Ekādaśī. One should be very careful as far as these items are concerned. If one is not careful, one will be negligent in executing devotional service.
Madhya 24.343: "Whatever you say about Vaiṣṇava behavior, the establishment of Vaiṣṇava temples and Deities, and everything else should be supported by evidence from the Purāṇas.
Madhya 24.344: "You should give general and specific descriptions of the behavior and activities of a Vaiṣṇava. You should outline things that are to be done and things that are not to be done. All this should be described as regulations and etiquette.
Madhya 24.345: "I have thus given a synopsis of the Vaiṣṇava regulative principles. I have given this in brief just to give you a little direction. When you write on this subject, Kṛṣṇa will help you by spiritually awakening you."
Madhya 24.346: Thus I have narrated Lord Caitanya's mercy upon Sanātana Gosvāmī. When one hears these topics, one's heart will be cleansed of all contamination.
Madhya 24.347: The authorized poet Kavi-karṇapūra has written a book named Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka. This book tells how Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu blessed Sanātana Gosvāmī with His specific mercy.
Madhya 24.348: "Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, the elder brother of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, was a most important minister in the government of Hussain Shah, the ruler of Bengal, and he was considered a most brilliant gem in that assembly. He possessed all the opulences of a royal position, but he gave up everything just to accept the youthful goddess of renunciation. Although he externally appeared to be a mendicant who had renounced everything, he was filled with the pleasure of devotional service within his heart. Thus he can be compared to a deep lake covered with moss. He was the object of pleasure for all the devotees who knew the science of devotional service.
Madhya 24.349: "As soon as Sanātana Gosvāmī arrived in front of Lord Caitanya, the Lord, seeing him, became merciful to him. The Lord, who has the complexion of a golden campaka flower, opened His arms and embraced him while expressing great affection."
Madhya 24.350: "In the course of time, the transcendental news of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes in Vṛndāvana was almost lost. To enunciate explicitly those transcendental pastimes, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu empowered Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī with the nectar of His mercy to carry out this work in Vṛndāvana."
Madhya 24.351: I have thus explained the mercy bestowed on Sanātana Gosvāmī by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. If one hears this description, all moroseness in the heart will diminish.
Madhya 24.352: By reading these instructions to Sanātana Gosvāmī, one will become fully aware of Lord Kṛṣṇa's various expansions and the process of devotional service according to the regulative principles and spontaneous love. Thus everything can be fully known.
Madhya 24.353: By reading these instructions, a pure devotee can understand love of Kṛṣṇa, the mellows of devotional service and the conclusion of devotional service. Everyone can understand all these things to their ultimate end by studying these instructions.
Madhya 24.354: The conclusion of these instructions can be known to one whose life and soul are the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Nityānanda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu.
Madhya 24.355: Praying at the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha, always desiring their mercy, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, narrate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, following in their footsteps.