Śrī Gāyatrī Mantrārtha Dīpikā - Illuminations on the Essential Meaning of GāyatrīChapter Six - Śrī Gopāla Mantra Paryālocana - A Deliberation on Śrī Gopāla Mantra
Śrī Gāyatrī Mantrārtha Dīpikā - Illuminations on the Essential Meaning of GāyatrīChapter Eight - Śrī Mantrārtha Dīpikā - Revealing the Essence of Śrī Kāma Gāyatrī

Śrī Gāyatrī Mantrārtha Dīpikā – Illuminations on the Essential Meaning of Gāyatrī

Chapter Seven – Śrī Prakāśinī Vṛtti Illuminations on Śrī Gopāla Mantra and Kāma Gāyatrī Following the Commentary of Śrila Jiva Goswāmī on Śrī Brahma Saṁhitā

All glory to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, all glories to the Golden Moon of Śrī Māyāpura. We find in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 9.234-241 the narration of how Śrī Caitanya found the Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā while touring South India.

From Cape Comorin Śrī Caitanya went to the bank of the Payasvinī river. After bathing He went to the Ādi-Keśava temple where He met with the great devotees. It was there that He obtained the ancient manuscript of the fifth chapter of Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā. This gave Śrī Caitanya unlimited joy, and divine ecstatic symptoms appeared in His body — trembling, weeping, perspiring; He was stunned, thrilled with ecstasy. Śrī Caitanya had the manuscript copied very carefully.

siddhānta-śāstra nāhi ‘brahma-saṁhitā’ra sama
govinda-mahimā jñānera parama kāraṇa
alpākṣare kahe siddhānta apāra
sakala-vaiṣṇava-śāstra-madhye ati sāra

“There is no scripture equal to the Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā as far as the final spiritual conclusion is concerned. Indeed, that scripture is the supreme revelation of the glories of Lord Govinda, for it reveals the topmost knowledge about Him. Since all conclusions are briefly presented in Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā, it is essential among all the Vaiṣṇava literatures.” (C.c. Madhya-līlā 9.239-240)

The following verses from Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā reveal the ontological purport of gopāla-mantra and kāma-gāyatrī:

karṇikāraṁ mahad-yantraṁ ṣaṭ-koṇaṁ vajra-kīlakam
ṣaḍaṅga-ṣaṭpadī-sthānaṁ prakṛtyā puruṣeṇa ca
premānanda-mahānanda-rasenāvasthitaṁ hi yat
jyotīrūpeṇa manunā kāma-bījena saṅgatam

“The center of the divine lotus is the core of Kṛṣṇa’s residence. It is presided over by the Predominated and Predominating Moiety. It is mapped as a hexagonal mystic symbol. Like a diamond, the effulgent Supreme Entity of Kṛṣṇa, the fountainhead of all divine potencies, presides as the central pivot. The great mantra of eighteen syllables, which is formed of six integral parts, is manifest as a hexagonal place of sixfold divisions.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.3)

Kṛṣṇa’s līlā or pastimes are of two basic types, either manifest or unmanifest. The pastimes of Vṛndāvana that may be revealed to the vision of humans is manifest kṛṣṇa-līlā. whereas that which remains invisible to the eye is unmanifest kṛṣṇa-līlā. In Goloka, the unmanifest līlā is ever manifest, and in Gokula the manifest līlā is manifest to the worldly eye when Kṛṣṇa wills it.

Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has stated in his Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha, aprakaṭa-līlātaḥ prasūtiḥ prakaṭa-līlāyām abhivyaktiḥ: “Manifest līlā is the revelation of unmanifest līlā.” It is also further said in Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha, śrī-vṛndāvanasya prakāśa-viśeṣo golokatvam; tatra prapañcika-loka-prakaṭa-līlāvakāśatvenāvabhāsamānaṁ prakāśo goloka iti samarthanīyam. The meaning is that any ‘interval’ which is found in Kṛṣṇa’s manifest līlā in the illusory world is filled by those pastimes that have their subtle presence in the background in an unmanifest way; they are the pastimes of Goloka or Goloka līlā.

All these points are harmonized by Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī in his Laghu-Bhāgavatāmṛtam: yat tu goloka-nāma syāt tac ca gokula-vaibhavam; tādātmya-vaibhavatvañ ca tasya tan mahimonnateḥ – Goloka is the transcendental manifestation of the higher transcendental glories of Gokula. So Goloka is simply the selfsame manifestation of the majesty of Gokula.

Although each and every pastime of Kṛṣṇa is not manifest in Gokula, all His pastimes are eternally manifest in Goloka. The revelation to the conditioned souls of the unmanifest līlā of Goloka — Goloka being the selfsame majestic manifestation of Gokula – is of two types, namely through worship by mantra (mantropāsanā-mayī) and by pure spontaneity (svārasikī). Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī has explained in his writings that any one of the various locations and associated circumstances of the divine pastimes have their constant localized existence, and so may be meditated upon by the appropriate mantra. The meditational revelation of Goloka that arises from the constant localized mantra meditation upon a location corresponding to a singular pastime is mantropāsanā-mayī-līlā. But those pastimes that pervade many localities with manifold divine sports and revelries are full of variegated spontaneity, and thus they are svārasikī, that is, they are revealed to the devotees whose transcendental spontaneity has matured.

Both meanings are in this verse. Firstly, in the pastimes indicated in eighteen syllables, the bases of the mantra are delegated, their appropriate localities in order that each one manifest a particular pastime of Kṛṣṇa:

kliṁ kṛṣṇāya govindāya gopī-jana-vallabhāya svāhā

This mantra is said to be formed of six integral parts of six metric bases, which are:

  1. kṛṣṇāya
  2. govindāya
  3. gopī-jana
  4. vallabhāya
  5. svā and

The formation of the mantra is thus shown to be the consecutive placement of these six limbs.

The great hexagonal mystic symbol (or circle of the Lord’s dominion, mahad-yantra) is explained as follows: the seed (bīja), the impelling principle or desire-seed (kamabīja) — klīṁ — is the central pivot within the symbol. By concentrating one’s thoughts upon the transcendental truth with the help of such a formula, one can attain perception of the truth as Candradhvaja (Lord Śiva) did.

The teachings of Gautamīya Tantra state, svā-śabdena ca kṣetrajño heti cit-prakṛtiḥ parā: The word svā indicates kṣetra-jña or the soul, and indicates the higher transcendental nature. According to Śrī-Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, uttarād govindāyety asmāt surabhiṁ go-jātiṁ; tad uttarād gopījanety asmāt vidyāś caturddaśa, tad attarād vallabha, etc.

In this line, one may have realization of a localized pastime through the agency of worship by the mantra. This is the objective of worship by mantra.

The general purport of the uttarād govindāyety asmāt verse of Śrī-Hari-bhakti-vilāsa is that one who is deeply aspiring to enter into Kṛṣṇa’s divine pastimes must, with proper perspective of his relationship in the Absolute (sambandha-jñāna) born of devotional serving disposition (bhakti-rasa), render service unto Kṛṣṇa with the spiritual inner self. One’s relationship with the divinity is established when this intrinsic knowledge is realized:

  1. The intrinsic form of Kṛṣṇa
  2. The intrinsic form of Kṛṣṇa’s divine pastimes in Vraja,
  3. The intrinsic form of His intimate attendants, the gopīs,
  4. The intrinsic form of full self-surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, in the wake of tad vallabha, those who are His most beloved — the gopīs,
  5. The pure soul’s divine intrinsic form (of divine cognition), and
  6. cit-prakṛti or the intrinsic divine nature, viz. the intrinsic nature of the soul to render divine service unto Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

One who is properly established in such relativity in the Absolute attains firmness (niṣṭhā) in the soul’s engagement in divine practice (abhidheya), and comes to know the only life-nectar or prospect (prayojana) to be the joy of service to the supreme male, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, in the ‘ego’ of a predominated maidservant of Śrī Rādhā. This is the underlying purport.

So initially, the ‘meditational’ pastimes of Goloka and Gokula may appear in the heart of a devotee in the stage of holy practice (sādhana) through worship by the mantra, and secondly, the unrestricted ‘free-willed’ pastimes are revealed to the devotee in the stage of perfection (siddha). This is the general position of Goloka or Gokula, which will be further illumined as the text evolves.

The meaning of jyotī-rūpeṇa manunā is that the transcendental purport is revealed in the mantra, and linking that with the transcendental desire (aprākṛtakāma) of pure love for Kṛṣṇa, the life of one who goes on serving in this line becomes saturated with supreme ecstasy of joyous love divine or premānanda-mahānanda-rasa. Such eternal pastimes full of love and joy are ever refulgent in Goloka.

tat-kiñjalkaṁ tad-aṁśānāṁ tat-patrāṇi śrīyām api

“The core of that eternal holy abode which is called Gokula is the hexagonal land of Kṛṣṇa’s abode. The stamens or petals are the residences of the cowherds or gopas, who are Kṛṣṇa’s own, His dearmost friends and high loving devotees that are part of His own self. Those abodes appear like many walls, all beautifully effulgent. The extensive foliage of that lotus constitutes the sub-forests that are the abodes of the loving damsels of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, headed by Śrī Rādhikā.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.4)

The transcendental Gokula is in the form of a lotus flower. Its core is hexagonal; in the center is the Predominated and Predominating Moiety, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, who are the objective of the eighteen-syllable mantra. Their various subjective personal expansions (intimate serving associates) of intrinsic divine potency surround Them. The seed is Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

The Gopāla-tāpanīyopaniṣad states, tasmād oṁkāra-sambhūto gopālo viśvasambhavaḥ, klīm oṁkārasya caikatvaṁ paṭhyate brahma-vādibhiḥ. Oṁkāra means Gopāla, who is both the potency and the potent, and klīṁ means oṁkāra. Therefore, klīṁ or the primary desire-seed (kāmabīja) expresses the transcendental reality of Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

uvāca puratas tasmai tasya divyā sarasvatī
kāma-kṛṣṇaya govinda-ṅe gopījana ity api
vallabhāya priyā vahner mantraṁ te dāsyati priyam

“Then the divine vibration of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Divyā Sarasvatī, said to Brahmā as he saw darkness all around; ‘O Brahmā, klīṁ kṛṣṇaya govindāya gopī-jana-vallabhāya svāhā — this mantra (gopāla-mantra) will bring about the fulfillment of all your cherished desires.’ ” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.24)

The mantra of eighteen syllables (gopāla-mantra) including the seed of aspiration (klīṁ) is supreme. It has two attributes, one of which is to impel the pure soul towards the supreme charmer of the heart, Kṛṣṇa – the Lord of Gokula, the Lord of the gopīs. This is the acme of the soul’s divine pursuit. When the devotee practitioner becomes free from selfish desire, he can attain to the perfection of divine love, prema, in this way. Yet in the case of the practitioner who harbours some personal desires, this supreme mantra fulfills those desires too. In the divine concept, the seed of aspiration is intrinsic within the lotus of Gokula; and the seed of desire reflected in material objects fulfills all kinds of desires in the māyik (illusory) world.

tapas tvaṁ tapa etena tava siddhir bhaviṣyati

“O Brahmā, execute penance while contemplating upon this mantra, and you will attain to all perfection.” (Tx. 25)

atha tepe suciraṁ prīṇan govindam avyayam
śvetadvīpa-patiṁ kṛṣṇaṁ goloka-sthaṁ parātparam
prakṛtyā guṇa-rūpiṇyā rūpiṅyā paryyupāsitam
sahasra-dala-sampanne koṭi-kiñjalka-bṛṁhite
bhūmiś cintāmaṇis tatra karṇikāre mahāsane
samāsīnaṁ cidānandaṁ jyotīrūpam sanātanam
śabda-brahmamayaṁ veṇuṁ vādayantaṁ mukhāmbuje
vilāsinīgaṇavṛtaṁ svaiḥ svair aṁśair abhiṣṭutam

“Desiring to attain the grace of Govinda, Brahmā took up practicing long penance for the pleasure of that Lord of Śvetadvīpa, who is none other than Kṛṣṇa in Goloka. Brahmā’s meditation followed in this line. In the land made of wish-fulfilling gems is a thousand-petalled lotus flower that blooms with millions of stamens. In the centre of the lotus is a grand throne, upon which the eternal Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the embodiment of the effulgence of divine loving ecstasy, is seated. On His lotus lips the flute of transcendental sound is vibrating sonorously, and His glories are sung by the gopīs of His pastimes (who surround Him), along with the gopī’s associates who are their respective personal expansions. As the supreme worshippable object, He is worshipped (from outside) by prakṛti (māyā), who is the embodiment of material qualities (guṇas).” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.26)

Māyā’s nature is materially active (rājasika), and she assumes the forms of Durgā, etc., embodying the qualities of material truth, activation and inertia or sattva, rajaḥ and tamo guṇa. However, the object of Māyā’s meditation is completely transcendental and thus she, the embodiment of inferior potency, meditates upon Kṛṣṇa with a reverential or worshipful attitude.

Whoever has material hankering in the heart should worship Māyā Devī’s object of adoration. Even without worshipping Māyā Devī, such worshippers will attain success by worshipping Māyād Devī’s object of worship. The purport of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam verse akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā mokṣa-kāma udāradhīḥ, tīvreṇa bhaktiyogena yajeta puruṣaṁ param is that although the various demigods as expansions of the power of the Supreme Lord are the bestowers of certain rewards, an intelligent person nonetheless worships with resolute devotion the Supreme Godhead, who is replete with the potency to bestow all fruits.

Thus Brahmā meditated upon Māyā Devī’s reverentially worshipful truth, Kṛṣṇa, the supreme enjoyer of His pastimes in Goloka. Pure devotion that is free from all kinds of fleeting desires in niṣkāma-bhakti, or devotion devoid of vested interest or selfishness. The devotion of Brahmā and personalities of his general caliber is sakāma or possessing some personal interest. Still, even within devotion with vested interest there is a selfless stage, and this will be elucidated in the last five verses of Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā. As long as one has not attained to svarūpasiddhi or perfection in one’s divine self, the method given herein is the convenient way of rendering devotional service for the fallen conditioned soul.

atha veṇu-ninādasya trayī-mūrttimayī gatiḥ
sphurantī praviveśāśu mukhābjāni svayambhuvaḥ
gāyattrīṁ gāyatas tasmād adhigatya sarojajaḥ
saṁskṛtaś cādiguruṇā dvijatām agamat tataḥ

“Thereafter, the gāyatrī of threefold form, that is, of the form of oṁkāra (oṁ), emanated as the beautiful harmonious sequence of the song of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s flute. Entering the ears of Brahmā, it was swiftly manifest within his lotus mouth. Thus Brahmā who was born of the lotus flower, received gāyatrī as it emanated from the divine flute song of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and so he was initiated by the Supreme Lord, the original guru, and elevated to the status of twice-born (dvija).” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.27)

The divine vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute is a sound of truth, cognizance and ecstasy (sac-cid-ānandamaya), and so the paragon of the Vedas is present within that divine sound. Gāyatrī is a Vedic metre embracing both meditation and prayer in a compact form. Furthermore, kāmagāyatrī is topmost since the prayer and meditation contained within it are of the nature of full-fledged divine pastimes in a manner not found in any other gāyatrī.

Kāma-gāyatrī, which is the gāyatrī taken after the eighteen-syllabled gopāla-mantra, is klīṁ kāmadevāya vidmahe puṣpabāṇāya dhīmahi tan no ‘naṅgah pracodayāt. In this gāyatrī, the realization of the līlā of divine pastimes of Śrī Gopī-jana-vallabha, the beloved of the gopīs, after complete meditation upon Him, and the prayer to attain to the service of that transcendental cupid is indicated. In the entire transcendental world there is no higher pursuit for divine love in the shelter of an ecstatic relationship with Him.

As soon as that gāyatrī entered into the ears of Lord Brahmā, he attained the purificatory initiation into the status of the twice-born, or dvija, and began to sing the gāyatrī.

Any jīva who has properly received this gāyatrī has attained to divine rebirth. This rebirth means entrance into the transcendental plane, something infinitely superior to the status of the initiation or second birth of the materially conditioned souls that is given according to their nature or lineage in the material world. By divine initiation – the rebirth that is the attainment of divine birth, one reaches the spiritual world – the ultimate glory of the jīva.

trayyā prabuddho ‘tha vidhir vijñāta-tattva-sāgaraḥ
tuṣṭāva vedasāreṇa stotreṇānena keśavam

“Becoming enlightened by meditation upon that threefold gāyatrī, Brahmā became acquainted with the ocean of truth. Then he worshipped Śrī Kṛṣṇa, singing His transcendental glories by this hymn (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā), which is the quintessence of all the Vedas.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.28)

By meditating upon the kāma-gāyatrī, Brahmā began to conceive, ‘I am an eternal maidservant of Kṛṣṇa.’ Although the profound mysteries of servitorship as a maidservant of Śrī Kṛṣṇa were not necessarily revealed to him, his discrimination between spirit and matter developed to such a degree that an ocean of truth came within his grasp. When all the expressions of the Vedas thus became manifest within him, he sung this hymn, which expresses the quintessence of all the Vedas. Because in all respects this hymn is replete with the Vaiṣṇava siddhānta (perfect conclusions or truths of Vaiṣṇavism), Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has taught it to His personally favored devotees. The good readers may take the opportunity to daily sing and relish this hymn with devotion.

cintāmaṇi-prakara sadmasu kalpavṛkṣa
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
govindam ādi puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“Surrounded by millions of wish-fulfilling trees, in abodes made of multitudes of wish-yielding gems, He who tends the ever-yielding cows and who is perpetually served with great affection by hundreds of thousands of lakṣmīs (Goddesses of Fortune) – the primeval Lord Govinda do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.29)

veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ
barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“Always playing the flute, His eyes like blooming lotus petals, His head adorned with a peacock feather, His beautiful form the hue of a blue cloud; with the unique beauty that charms millions of Cupids  –  the primeval Lord Govinda do I adore.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.30)

ratnāṅgadaṁ praṇayakelikalā-vilāsam
śyāmaṁ tribhaṅgalalitaṁ niyata-prakāśaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“Around His neck is a garland of forest-flowers swinging to and fro, and adorned with a peacock feather locket; His flute held in hands adorned with jewelled bracelets, He who eternally revels in pastimes of love, whose charming threefold curved form, Śyāmasundara, is His eternal feature – that primeval Lord Govinda do I adore.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.31)

aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛttimanti
paśyanti pānti kalayanti ciraṁ jaganti
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“I worship that primeval Lord Govinda, whose form is all-ecstatic, all-conscious and all-truth, and thus, full of the most dazzling splendour; every part of that transcendental form possesses the functions of all His senses, as He eternally sees, maintains and regulates infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.32)

advaitam acyutam anādim anantarūpam
ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ navayauvanaṁ ca
vedeṣu durllabham adurllabham ātmabhaktau
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“I worship that primeval Lord Govinda, who is unapproachable by even the Vedas, yet attainable by the soul’s devotion; He is one without a second, the infallible, beginningless and endless; He is the beginning; and despite being the oldest personality He is the beautiful eternally adolescent youthful male.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.33)

panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-saṁpragamyo
vāyor athāpi manaso munipuṅgavānām
so ’py asti yat-prapadasīmny avicintya-tattve
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“The yogīs tread the path of strictly controlling the life-breath, or the greatest sages tread the path of sharpening their perceptions by assiduous rejection of the non-real, in quest of the non-differentiative brahman; they all aspire to reach that supramundane truth beyond the worldly intellect; and after trying for billions of years, they may reach only the boundary of His lotus feet – it is that primeval Lord Govinda who I do worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.34)

eko ’py asau racyituṁ jagadaṇḍa-koṭiṁ
yac-chaktir asti jagadaṇḍacayā yad-antaḥ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“He – the one truth, both potency and potent – His potency in creating billions of universes is not separate from Him; every universe is within Him, yet simultaneously He is situated within every atom in complete form. Such is the primeval Lord Govinda whom I do worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.35)

yad-bhāva-bhāvita-dhiyo manujās tathaiva
samprāpya rūpa-mahimāsana-yāna-bhūṣāḥ
sūktair yam eva nigama-prathitaiḥ stuvanti
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“I worship the primeval Lord Govinda for whom the hearts of mankind melt in Love. Those persons attain the glory of their beauty, their seats, conveyances and ornaments; and they sing His glories by the mantra hymns of the Vedas.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.36)

tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā kalābhiḥ
goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūto
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“He eternally resides in His holy abode of Goloka with His transcendental second nature, the own self of His ecstasy potency replete with the sixty-four sublime arts – Śrī Rādhā and Her various personal plenary expansions, Her female companions, whose hearts are filled with the supreme rasa, the joy of divine love; that primeval Lord Govinda – the life and soul of His beloved – do I adore.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.37)

santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“The sādhus, their eyes tinted with the unguent of love, see within their hearts that Śyāmasundara Kṛṣṇa of inconceivable qualities; that primeval Lord Govinda do I adore.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.38)

rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalāniyamena tiṣṭhan
nānāvatāram akarod bhuvaneṣu kiṁ tu
kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṁ samabhavat paramaḥ pumān yo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“The Lord has shown in the world many avatāras such as Rāma, by expanding His plenary expansions and expansions of those expansions anon; and He, Kṛṣṇa, also came Personally – that primeval Lord Govinda do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.39)

yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-
koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi vibhūti-bhinnam
tad-brahma niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“I worship that primeval Lord Govinda. Because His power and effulgence is the source of that which is described in the Upaniṣads as the non-differentiated brahman, being distinct from the domain of millions of planets and planes like Earth, etc., it appears as the indivisible, infinite, Absolute Truth.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.40)

māyā hi yasya jagad-aṇḍa-śatāni sūte
sattvāvalambi-parasattva viśuddha-sattvaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“I worship that primeval Lord Govinda, the all-good, transcendental pure existence; whose inferior potency is Māyā, of the trimodal nature of sattva, rajaḥ, and tamo-guṇa – the propagator of that Vedic wisdom which pertains to the world.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.41)

ānanda-cinmaya-rasātmatayā manaḥsu
yaḥ prāṇināṁ pratiphalan smaratām upetya
līlāyitena bhuvanāni jayaty ajasraṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“He whose divine ecstatic form is reflected in the minds of those who remember Him, as He perpetually conquers the world in His play – that primeval Lord Govinda do I adore.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.42)

goloka-nāmni nija-dhāmni tale ca tasya
devi maheśa-hari-dhāmasu teṣu teṣu
te te prabhāva-nicayā vihitāś ca yena
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“First there is Devī-dhāma [mundane world], then Maheśa-dhāma [abode of Maheśa]; and above Maheśa-dhāma is Hari-dhāma [abode of Hari]; and above all is His own home, Goloka. He who has ordained the appropriate powers pertaining to each and every one of those abodes – that Primeval Lord, Govinda, do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.43)

sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā
chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni vibhartti durgā
icchānurūpam api yasya ca ceṣṭate sā
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“The intrinsic or divine potency’s shadow is personified as the Māyā potency who accomplishes creation, sustenance and dissolution, and who is worshipped in the world as ‘Durgā’; by He whose wish she acts – that Primeval Lord, Govinda, do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.44)

kṣīraṁ yathā dadhi vikāra-viśeṣa-yogāt
sañjāyate na hi tataḥ pṛthag asti hetoḥ
yaḥ śambhutām api tathā samupaiti kāryyād
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“As milk becomes transformed into yogurt by reacting with an added agent, yet yogurt is not separate from its origin – milk, similarly, for accomplishing a particular task, He who assumes the nature of ‘Śambhu’ – that Primeval Lord, Govinda, do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.45)

dīpārccir eva hi daśāntaram abhyupetya
dīpāyate vivṛta-hetu-samāna-dharmmā
yas tādṛg eva hi ca viṣṇutayā vibhāti
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“As the flame of one original lamp, when transmitted to another, burns separately as the expanded cause with the same nature of intensity, so also, He who shines in (Viṣṇu’s) dynamic nature – that Primeval Lord, Govinda, do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.46)

yaḥ kāraṇārṇava-jale bhajati sma yoga
nidrām ananta-jagad-aṇḍa-saroma-kūpaḥ
ādhāra-śaktim avalambya parāṁ svamūrttiṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“With infinite universes in the pores of His body, He assumes His supreme figure called Śeśa, the reservoir of almighty power personified; He who reclines on the causal ocean, enjoying His trance of divine sleep, that Primeval Lord, Govinda, do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.47)

yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya
jīvanti loma-bilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ
viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“The lifespans of Brahmā and the gods of the universes born from the pores of the divine body of Mahā-Viṣṇu last for only one exhalation of Mahā-Viṣṇu; And Mahā-Viṣṇu is the portion of a portion of that Primeval Lord, Govinda, who I do worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.48)

bhāsvān yathāśma-śakaleṣu nijeṣu tejaḥ
svīyam kiyat prakaṭayaty api yad-vad-atra
brahmā ya eṣa jagad-aṇḍa-vidhāna-kartā
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“As the Sun, Sūrya, manifests some of his light in the gems named after him as sūrya-kānta, similarly, He by whom Brahmā is empowered to create the entire material universe – the primeval Lord Govinda, do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.49)

yat-pāda-pallava-yugaṁ vinidhāya kumbha-
dvandve praṇāma-samaye sa gaṇādhirājaḥ
vighnān vihantum alam asya jagat-trayasya
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“For the power to crush the obstacles of the three worlds, He whose lotus feet Gaṇeśa perpetually holds upon the pair of nodes of his elephantine head – the Primeval Lord, Govinda, do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.50)

agnir mahī gaganam ambu marud diśaś ca
kālas tathātma-manasīti jagat-trayāṇi
yasmād bhavanti vibhavanti viśanti yañ ca
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“Fire, earth, sky, water, air, space, time, soul mind – the three worlds are created of these nine elements; He from whom these elements are born, in whom they remain, and in whom they enter in the end – that Primeval Lord, Govinda, do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.51)

yac-cakṣur eṣa savitā sakala-grahāṇāṁ
rājā samasta-sura-mūrtir aśeṣa-tejāḥ
yasyājñayā bhramati saṁbhṛta-kāla-cakro
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“With unlimited brilliance and power, the Sun is the king of all the planets, the resort of all the gods – the personified eye of the universe. He upon whose order the Sun, mounting the wheel of time, runs his perpetual orbit – that Primeval Lord, Govinda, do I worship.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.52)

dharmo ’tha pāpa-nicayaḥ śrutayas tapāṁsi
brahmādi-kīṭa-patagāvadhayaś ca jīvāḥ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“I worship the primeval Lord Govinda, by whose conferred power is manifest the potency in – religion, irreligion or all types of sins, the Śrutis, the penances and all beings from Brahmā to the worm and insect.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.53)

yas tv indragopam athavendram aho sva-karma-
bandhānurūpa-phala-bhājanam ātanoti
karmāṇi nirddahati kiṁ tu ca bhakti-bhājāṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“Whether one may be the tiny insect indragopa or the great king of the gods, Lord Indra, He impartially awards all souls on the path of karma the fruits befitting their deeds; yet it is so wonderful! He burns at the root all the karma of the souls who adore Him – I worship Him, that primeval Lord Govinda.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.54)

yaṁ krodha-kāma-sahaja-praṇayādi-bhīti-
sañcintya tasya sadṛśīṁ tanum āpur ete
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“Those who cultivate their thoughts of Him through anger, amour, natural friendship, fear, parenthood, delusion, reverence and servitorship attain to bodies of a form and nature appropriate to the mood of their meditation. I worship that primeval Lord Govinda.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.55)

śriyaḥ kāntāḥ kāntāḥ parama-puruṣaḥ kalpataravo
drumā bhūmiś cintāmaṇi gaṇamayī toyam amṛtam
kathā gānaṁ nāṭyaṁ gamanam api vaṁśī priyasakhī
cid-ānandaṁ jyotiḥ param api tad āsvādyam api ca
sa yatra kṣīrābdhiḥ sravati surabhībhyaś ca sumahān
nimeṣārdhākhyo vā vrajati na hi yatrāpi samayaḥ
bhaje śvetadvīpaṁ tam aham iha golokam iti yaṁ
vidantas te santaḥ kṣitī-virala-cārāḥ katipaye

“That place where the divine Goddesses of Fortune are the beloved, and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Male, is the only lover; there all the trees are divine wish-fulfilling trees, the soil is made of transcendental gems and the water is nectar; where every word is a song, every movement is dancing, the flute is the dearmost companion, sunlight and moonlight are divine ecstasy, and all that be is divine, and enjoyable; where a great ocean of milk eternally flows from the udders of billions of surabhī cows and the divine time is eternally present, never suffering the estrangement of past and future for even a split second – that supreme transcendental abode of Śvetadvīpa do I adore. Practically no one in this world knows that place but for only a few pure devotees – and they know it as Goloka.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.56)

athovāca mahāviṣṇur bhagavantaṁ prajāpatiṁ
brahman mahattva-vijñane prajāsarge ca cen matiḥ
pañca-ślokīm imāṁ vidyāṁ vatsa dattāṁ nibodha me

“Upon hearing these quintessential hymms of Brahmā, the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa said unto him, “O Brahmā, if with knowledge of transcendental science you wish to create progeny, then, My dear one, hear the wisdom of these five ślokas from Me.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.57)

The names Kṛṣṇa and Govinda express the form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord, and when Brahmā earnestly chanted those names, the Lord was propitiated. The desire for creation was in Brahmā’s heart. Kṛṣṇa then explained to Brahmā how transcendental exclusive devotion can be accomplished by a soul engaged in worldly occupations by combining his worldly activity with the desire to follow the order of the Lord.

The transcendental science is knowledge of the Supreme Divinity. If with such knowledge you wish to create progeny, hear the teachings of bhakti that I shall impart to you in the next five ślokas. That is how to practice bhakti by executing worldly duties in the form of following the Lords order.

prabuddhe jñāna-bhaktibhyām ātmany ānanda-cinmayī
udety anuttamā bhaktir bhagavat-prema-lakṣaṇā

“When transcendental experience awakens by means of knowledge and devotion, the highest devotion symptomized by love for the Supreme Lord, Śri Kṛṣṇa, the beloved of the soul, awakens in the devotee’s heart.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.58)

The meaning of actual knowledge or jñāna is sambandha-jñāna — perspective of the correlation of the transcendental, the material, and Kṛṣṇa. Here, psychic, mental or intellectual knowledge or impersonal Brahman liberation is not indicated because such knowledge is opposed to devotion. Sambandha-jñāna or knowledge of the soul’s relativity in the absolute constitutes the teachings of the first seven of the ten fundamental divine principles known as daśa-mūla.

According to the scriptures that expound pure devotion, the principle of abhidheya or means to the end is the cultivation of divine service for Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental pleasure by the practices of hearing, chanting, remembering, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, worshipping, praying, servitude, friendship, and self-surrender. This is elaborately described in the holy book Śri Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu.

By such knowledge and devotion, devotion in love divine is awakened and blooms in the heart of the devotee. This is the ultimate in devotion, and the objective of all spiritual endeavor for the jīva (prayojana).

pramāṇais tat sadācārais tad abhyāsair nirantaram
bodhayann ātmanātmānaṁ bhaktim apy uttamāṁ labhet

“Supreme devotion is attained by gradually increasing perception of one’s intrinsic self through constant self-cultivation following authority, virtuous practices, and practicing spiritual life.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.59)

Authority refers to the scriptures that teach us about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, such as the Vedas, Purāṇas, Śrimad Bhagavad-gītā, etc. Virtuous practices refers to the practices of the true devotee saints, and the practices inspired by divine love in the hearts of the pure devotees who follow the path of love for the Lord. By practicing spiritual life it is meant that one should learn about the daśa-mūla or ten fundamental divine principles from the scriptures, and after receiving as directed therein the holy name of the Lord – embodying His name, form, qualities, and pastimes — one should go on with the constant practice of His divine service, taking the name regularly every day.

It must be clearly understood that in this practicing spiritual life, scriptural cultivation and saintly association (sādhu-saṅga) are necessary. When virtuous practices are combined with the service of the name, the ten offenses to the holy name can no longer endure. To faithfully follow the sādhus who hear and chant the glories of the name without any trace of offense is the true practicing of spiritual life. In the heart of one who faithfully continues his practicing spiritual live in this line, the objective, which is devotion in divine love, makes Her gracious appearance.

yasyāḥ śreyaskaraṁ nāsti yayā nirvṛtim āpnuyāt
yā sādhayati mām eva bhaktiṁ tām eva sādhayet

Sādhana-bhakti or practicing devotional life is the means to the objective – prema-bhakti, devotion in love. Of all that is auspicious, there is absolutely nothing beyond prema-bhakti – She brings in her retinue of divine ecstatic joy, and she can give Me to My devotee.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.60)

There is no greater good for the jīva beyond prema-bhakti. It is the objective of all devotional practices, and the ultimate transcendental ecstasy of the soul. It is only by virtue of prema-bhakti that one can attain the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. One who cultivates his practicing devotional life with deep longing and earnestness for that objective will attain that treasure – others cannot.

dharmmān anyān parityajya mām ekaṁ bhaja viśvasan
yādṛśī yādṛśī śraddhā siddhir bhavati tādṛśī
kurvvan nirantaraṁ karmma loko ‘yam anuvarttate
tenaiva karmmaṇā dhyāyan māṁ parāṁ bhaktim icchati

“Abandon all other types of religion and serve Me with resolve. One will attain perfection according to the nature of his faith. Perpetually pursuing worldly occupations or karma, the people of this world remain in the world. Meditate upon Me through the execution of your particular work, and you will attain loving devotion, the supreme transcendental devotion.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.61)

The dharma – religion, nature, or function of the character of pure devotion, śuddha-bhakti – is the actual jaiva-dharma or eternal nature and original function of the soul. As many other religions may be found in the world, every one of them are superficial in comparison to the original function. The superficial dharmas are numerous, including the cultivation of jñāna or knowledge of Brahman aiming at nirvāṅa (cessation of embodied existence); the eightfold and allied forms of yoga aiming at becoming one with the Supersoul; pious worldly works by the way of karmakāṇḍa aiming at mundane pleasures; jñāna-yoga as a relative combination of karma and jñāna; and barren renunciation.

The Lord is saying that one should give up all these attempts and embrace the religion of bhakti –  devotion, and serve and adore Him. Exclusive faith in Him is viśvāsa – resolve; that resolute faith gradually becomes more and more lucid, and from that develops niṣṭhā, ruci, āsakti, and bhāva –  firmness, taste, depth in taste, and heartfelt sentiment of divine love. Perfection is attained in proportion to purity of one’s faith.

If the question is raised, “If in this way one is to be constantly engaged in pursuing perfection in devotion, how will he maintain his body, and how will the world go on? And when society and one’s body cease to function, how will a man pursue perfection in devotion when he is dead?” In order to slash such a doubt the Lord is saying that the karma or work that people of this plane perform to sustain the world should be executed as a meditation, and destroy the karmic or exploitative nature of those actions; and thus establish their devotional quality.

Man passes his life by engaging in three types of actions: bodily, mental, and social. The manifold bodily activities include eating, sitting, walking, reclining, sleeping, evacuating, dressing, etc.; the mental activities include thought, remembrance, concentration, realization, feeling happiness and unhappiness, etc.; and the social activities include marriage, the relationship of ruler and subject, brotherhood, assemblies for performing sacrifice, public welfare works, family maintenance, receiving guests, customary formalities, offering due respect to others, etc.

When these actions are performed for the sake of one’s own enjoyment, they are known as karmakāṇḍa; when they are performed for an opportunity of attaining enlightenment, they are known as karma-yoga or jñāna-yoga; and when they are executed as functions conducive to the practicing life of devotion, they are known as gauṇa-bhakti-yoga or the indirect application of devotion. But only action that is symptomized by pure worship is known as direct devotion.

Thus the Lord is saying that your every act will be meditation upon Him when you give due time to practicing direct devotion whilst otherwise rendering indirect devotion in accordance with the formalities demanded by the world. In this respect, despite acting in the world – performing karma –  the jīva does not become averse to the service of the Lord by turning outward to mundane trappings.

This way of activity is the practice of turning inward. As it is stated in the Īśopaniṣad: īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvvaṁ yat kiñ ca jagatyāṁ jagat, tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā gṛdhaḥ kasyacid dhanam. Our revered commentator on Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā (Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī) has stated, tena īśa-tyaktena visṛṣṭena – it’s purport being that whatever one accepts, when accepted as prasāda, or grace of the Lord – and thus as one’s fortune – then actions lose their quality of karma and take on the quality of bhakti. Therefore, the Īśopaniṣad states, kurvan eveha karmāṇi jijīviśec chataṁ samāḥ, evaṁ tvayi nānyatheto ‘sti na karmma lipyate nare: if one acts in this way even if he lives for hundreds of years he cannot be daubed by karma.

The liberationist or jñāna-oriented interpretation of these two mantras is that they mean renunciation of the fruits of one’s work, but from the standpoint of bhakti, the purport is that, by offering everything to the Lord, one gains His grace or prasāda. So worldly occupations are to be executed along with the meditation of remembering the worship of the Supreme Lord in arcanā-mārga or the path of due reverence for the Deity.

Now, Brahmā has a desire in his heart for creation. If that desire is fulfilled along with the meditation of following the order of the Lord, by virtue of that action carrying the symptom of surrender to the Lord, it will be an indirect religious function favourable to the nourishment of and within the purview of devotion. This is the reasonable way of the Lord’s instruction to Brahmā.

The jīva who has attained to bhāva or internal, heartfelt devotion, is naturally indifferent to all but Kṛṣṇa, and so such an instruction does not apply in his case.

ahaṁ hi viśvasya carācarasya
bījaṁ pradhānaṁ prakṛtiḥ pumāṁś ca
mayāhitaṁ teja idaṁ vibharṣi
vidhe vidhehi tvam atho jaganti

“Hear Me, O Vidhe! I am the seed – the primal principle of the world of moving and stationary beings; I am the elements, I am the predominated, I am the predominator. The fiery spirit of Brahman that abides in you has been conferred unto you by Me; now, adopting that prowess, create the world of stationary beings.” (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.62)

Some philosophers conclude that the undifferentiated element of brahman becomes transformed and takes on the appearance of having attributes in the form of this mundane world; or Māyā becomes divided and becomes the mundane world, and undivided it is brahman; or brahman is the object and the world is its reflection; or the entire world is the jīva’s illusion. Others think that by nature God is the one; the soul is the one, and although the universe or mundane world is the one principle, it is eternally distinct in an independent manner. Or that God is the absolute specific and the relative – both spirit and matter, are the specified – yet all are one truth. Others think that by dint of inconceivable potency the truth sometimes appears as one or sometimes dual. Yet others conclude that the doctrine of an impotent ‘one’ is meaningless, so brahman is replete with pure potency, and it is the eternally pure, one-without-a- second truth.

All these theories have their origin in the Vedas, with support in the Vedānta-sūtras. Although none of them can claim to expound the truth in every respect, each carry a certain degree of truth. They – not to mention the theories of Sāṅkhya, Pātañjala, Nyāya, and Vaiśeṣika that are all contradictory to the Vedic teachings, and theories such as Pūrva-mīmāṁsā, etc., that solely favor fruitive pursuits in conformity with a section of the Vedas – owe their existence to their superficial reliance upon the Vedānta.

Thus, the Lord says to Brahmā that you and your pure divine succession are to abandon all these theories and accept the supreme principle of acintya-bhedābheda – inconceivable simultaneous oneness and distinction. Then you will be able to become a true devotee.

The underlying gist of the Lord’s words is that the animate world is composed of jīvas and the inanimate world is composed of matter. Of these, His divine potency (parā-śakti) – by its marginal power – has manifest the jīvas and His secondary potency (aparā-śakti) has manifest the material world. He is the seed of everything. In a form non-different from each of those potencies of His, He controls them by the potency of His will. By various stages of transformation, those potencies have become pradhāna (the elements), prakṛti (the predominated), and puruṣa (the predominator). So although as the potency principle He is pradhāna, prakṛti, and puruṣa, as the potency principle He is eternally distinct from all those potencies. Such simultaneous oneness and distinction has come into being by virtue of His inconceivable potency.

Therefore the Lord says that by embracing the wisdom of the correlation of the inconceivably one and distinct entities of; the soul, the world, and Kṛṣṇa, let the attainment of divine love for Kṛṣṇa by the practice of pure devotion be the eternal divine teaching handed down in Brahmā’s divine succession.

By Published On: December 9, 2022
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Avatar of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
Śrīla Saccidānanda Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura appeared in this world in 1836 and is considered to be the pioneer of the modern Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava movement. The Thākura was a respected district magistrate and despite his busy schedule, he wrote volumes of books, articles and commentaries on Vaiṣṇava philosophy in Bengali, English and Sanskrit. He began a monthly journal named Sajjana Toṣaṇī and began the Nāma-haṭṭa (‘marketplace of the Holy Name’) programme of preaching in rural villages as well as in the metropolis of Kolkata. Bhaktivinoda also rediscovered the original birthplace of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Śrīdhāma Māyāpura. After accepting the renounced order of life in 1908, he left this world in 1914.