NrsinghaDas - September 22, 2004 10:43 pm

Dear Vaisnavas please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!


I have more then one qustion on this subject, so I would like to post them one at a time so I can keep up with the thread.


My first question is about the circumstances in wich bhakti-sukrti can arise.

This is from something that I read in Jaiva Dharma ( from the translation on the Veda Base by Sarvabhavna das).


"Raghunätha däsa Bäbäjé, “Very well, I will explain the development step by step—listen carefully. While wandering through the different species of life, a jéva upon attaining birth as a human being must perform providentially or otherwise bhakti-pravartaka-sukåti in the form of any one of the limbs of pure devotional service, such as fasting on Ekädaçé, or on other spiritually important occasions; visiting and respecting the holy places of the pastimes of the Supreme Lord; or hearing kértana from the lips of a renounced and humble Vaiñëava sädhu. However, those persons who purposely desire bhukti and mukti will not get the benefits of bhakti-pravartaka-sukåti, even by performing any of these activities. In contrast, if an innocent person, even one devoid of philosophical understanding, performs these activities by accident, by chance, or by social custom without desiring bhukti and mukti, he obtains the results of bhakti-pravartaka-sukåti. "


In the qoted section above it mentions that those pearsons who purposely desire bhukti or mukti will not benifit fom these devotional activites.Someone developing bhakti-sukrti may be so knowingly or unknowingly.So if someone is to the point of performing these activites knowingly they are still far from anartha-nivriti, some of these anarthas imply desires for bhukti or mukti by there very nature. (e.g. asat-trsna, or thirst for temporary sense objects.)


So my question is what will determine whether or not the pearson who is knowingly endevouring for bhakti-sukrti but simultaneously effected by different kinds of anarthas is actually accumulating permanent benefit? and how will they know?

Swami - September 23, 2004 11:53 am

When Bhaktivinoda Thakura speaks of not attaining bhakti sukrti becasue of perfoming devotional acts with a desire for bhukti or mukti, he is speaking about those who are consciously desiring these goals—people on the paths of karma and jnana as opposed to those who have developled sraddha in bhakti and have thus embarked upon the path of bhakti. Althouth those on the path off bhakti may still harbor desires for bhukti and mukti, they do not preform devotional acts with the desire to attain these goals. Indeed they perform them with a view to become free from these desires and attain prema.


Note that Bhaktivinoda Thakura distinguishes innocent people from those purposefully desiring bhukti and mukti. They also have material desires, but they are not pursuing devotional acts for these goals. Thus they accumulate sukrti by engaging in these acts, as do devotees on the path even though they are not yet entirely free from desires for bhukti and mukti.

NrsinghaDas - September 23, 2004 3:56 pm

Thank you Swami for your reply.

But Iam still unsure as to whether Iam actually accumulating bhakti-sukrti or not. I guess because I can only have a limited understanding of the nature of devotional service in a conditioned state it causes me to wonder if the understanding that I do have is accurate enuff to work in my favor. After all service to Adhoksaja must also be the beyond mundane conception, so where do I stand?


I feel that I have developed somewhat of a complex after hearing different statements about how many poeple may consider themselves to be engaged in devotional service and are actually motivated by mayavad thought and are actually great offenders. For example this purport from BG as it is(9.12).

"There are many devotees who assume themselves to be in Krsna consciousness and devotional service but at heart do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, as the Absolute Truth. For them, the fruit of devotional service—going back to Godhead—will never be tasted."


In the cases when there are people who have these motives hidden from themselves to the extent that they think that they are on the path are they to be considered innocent or not?

Can a pearson who assumes himself to be in Krsna Conciousness even though he is not still be considered innocent enuff to amass some bhakti-sukrti?

Swami - September 23, 2004 4:12 pm

Where do you stand? By virtue of sadhu sanga you have developed komala sraddha (tender faith). Now you are associating with sadhus as a result of that faith. The fruit of this second kind of sadhu sanga is taking shelter of a guru and receiveg diksa and siksa from him or her. This will place you in the next stage, bhajana kriya. With faith in sastra as to the nature of the path, one should go forward with courage.

Brahma Dasa - September 24, 2004 5:44 pm

Nrsingha das,


Bhagavad Gita 9.12 says---mogahasa mogha karmano


“Those thus bewildered are attracted to demonic and atheistic views, in that condition their hopes for liberation, fruitive activities and culture of knowledge are all defeated.”


Who are the bewildered? The bewildered are described in the preceding verse.


Bhagavad Gita 9-11---avajananti mam mudha


The bewildered are "fools who deride Krsna because they cannot understand how he appears in human form. These fools cannot accept that Krsna is transcendental and supreme."


Srila Prabhupada describes such bewildered fools in the purport to 9.12 as “devotees who assume themselves to be in Krsna consciousness and devotional service but at heart do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, as the Absolute Truth. For them, the fruit of devotional service—going back to Godhead—will never be tasted."


Srila Prabhupada is talking here about mayavadis who worship Krsna externally but don’t accept that Krsna exists in ultimate spiritual reality. He makes this clear by saying that these persons deride Krsna, never surrender to Krsna, and think that after liberation that there is no difference between God and themselves. These words do not pertain to Srila Prabhupada’s disciples and followers. Faults we may have, including material desire, pride and so forth but his followers do not deride Krsna by thinking there is no difference between the liberated soul and Krsna.


Swami writes about the mayavadi conception in the following Sangas where he says, “According to Sankara, the form of Krsna as saguna Brahman is considered a manifestation of Brahman constituted of the material quality of sattva (goodness). In Sankara's doctrine this form of Brahman serves the purpose of helping individual souls realize the illusion of their individuality, at which time the form and person of the avatara is dispensed with as the enlightened soul realizes itself to be Brahman in all respects. “


Read Sangas: The Brahma sutras of Badarayana



Gaudiya Vedanta and Saguna Brahman



Both of these Sangas were compiled from Swami’s conversations with a person who considered himself a devotee of Krsna and a follower of Mahaprabhu. However this so-called devotee who is not a disciple of Prabhupada, does not come to the same conclusions as does Srila Rupa Goswami. Therefore this person might conform to what Srila Prabhupada describes in this purport as “devotees who assume themselves to be in Krsna consciousness and devotional service but at heart do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, as the Absolute Truth.” Srila Prabhupada is not talking here about his disciples. / Brahma

NrsinghaDas - September 26, 2004 1:12 am

Thank you Brahma prabhu, and thank you again Swami,

I was somewhat relieved after reading those sangas, it helped me to see some difference between someone who may just be stuggleing due to weakness of heart and someone who is actually desirous of arriving at an impersonal conclusion.

For some time I have feared that if Iam unconciously infleunced by an impersonal understanding then it could discredit all of my devotional endevours. Because of the strong statements made by Mahaprabhu and the previous acaryas against impersonalism I sometimes feel that if Iam even unconsciously under some sort of impersonal misconception (wich seems to be quite likely for someone who is incomplete in knowlege) then I will be invariably rejected from the path of bhakti.But it seems that the nature of devotional service is that is more likely to deliver me from mukti then to deliver me mukti.


I found this in Srila BR Sridhar Swamis Gita commentary(2.40) and it supports this point.Stating that the smallest service will save one from maha-bhaya wich also refers to sayujya-mukti.


2.40 Even a small beginning in this devotional service cannot go in vain, nor can any loss be suffered. The most insignificant practice of such devotional service saves one from the all-devouring fear of repeated birth and death in this world.

Commentary 02.40

Generally, maha-bhaya is taken as the all-devouring fear of repeated birth and death in this world of exploitation. But maha-bhaya also refers to sayujya-mukti, the liberation of merging into the impersonal nondifferentiated consciousness of Brahmaloka,.....Only the Supreme Lord is abhaya, beyond apprehension. Therefore only participation in His service can free one from the ghosts of exploitation and renunciation, bhukti and mukti. If we subtract bhukti and mukti, then only positive bhakti, devotion, is the remainder. Therefore without bhakti everything is maha-bhaya, great danger.

NrsinghaDas - October 2, 2004 10:06 pm

Swami has wrtitten in his Gita (7.28) that the oppurtunity for bhakti sukrti is created by someone who is already a devotee of Krsna. Also Sridhar Maharaj writes that "Fine theistic intelligence is the outcome of good fortune which comes from above (sukrti); it is not self-acquired."

So Iam stuck between a rock and a hard place because I dont find that I really have any serving propensity or ability to lessen my mentality of independance and I feel these to be signs of weak faith and have thought that if I can somehow increase my sukrti then they will be amended naturally. So now Iam wondering if I even have the capacity for increasing sukrti on my own?


I thank everyone for thier generosity in the matter of replying to my posts.

Kalpavrksa Das - October 3, 2004 2:13 am

As you have noted, the opportunity for bhakti sukrti is created by devotees of Krsna. Simply by their movements, instructions, and precense in this world they distribute sukrti. So to move close to them, and closer yet, seems an appropriate response to your concern...


The only way to amass sukrti is to associate with sadhu's who distribute it. We have no power to create sukrti by ourselves. As faith develops in such association we then make a concerted effort to place our hearts in the hands of a sadhu. There is no way to side step sadhu sanga. Every spiritual possibility, every ounce of our hearts deepest yearnings are found in sadhu sanga alone. This movement, in the direction of a sadhu is our only hope. As we move closer faith develops, as faith develops so does the desire to serve and from service, giving, we get everything.


Faith has brought you this close, now come closer still and take full advantage of the opportunity that a sadhu has created for you. All problems will be amended. The wise say to us with great confidence, "you have nothing to lose and all to gain".