Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Upadeśāmṛta (Nectar of Instruction)
Śrī Upadeśāmṛta Bhāṣā
Upadeśāmṛta Chapter Overview
Śrī Upadeśāmṛta Bhāṣa by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda is a translation in Bengali prose and elaboration upon the original eleven Sanskrit verses of the Upadeśāmṛta (Nectar of Instruction) of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.
kṛṣṇetara kathā vāg vega tāra nāma
kāmera atṛpte krodha-vega mano-dhāma
Discussing topics unrelated to Kṛṣṇa is known as the urge to talk. Frustration of unfulfilled material desires gives rise to the urges of anger and the mind.
susvādu bhojanaśīla jihvā-vega-dāsa
atirakti bhoktā yei udarete āśa
Those whose nature is to enjoy sumptuous meals are slaves to the urge of the tongue. Those persons who are infatuated with eating simply fulfil the desires of the belly.
yoṣitera bhṛtya straiṇa kāmera kiṅkara
upasthare-vegera baśe kandarpa-tatpara
That drudge of a man who is henpecked by women is a slave to sex desire. Such a person who acts under the influence of the genitals is devoted to the god of lust.
ei chaya vega yāra vaśe sadā raya
se jana gosvāmī kare pṛthivī vijaya
Those who are always able to control these six urges are masters of the senses (gosvāmī) and are able to conquer the world.
atyanta saṅgrahe yāra sadā citta dhāya
atyāhārī bhakti-hīna sei saṁjñā pāya
Those whose minds are continuously drawn to accumulate so many things should be understood to be atyāhārīs (gluttons for hoarding) and bereft of bhakti.
prākṛta vastura āśe bhoge yāra mana
prayāsī tāhāra nāma bhakti-hīna jana
Those whose minds wish to exploit material objects are called prayāsīs (over-endeavourers) and are devoid of any bhakti.
kṛṣṇa-kathā chāḍi jihvā āna kathā kahe
prajalpī tāhāra nāma vṛthā vākya vahe
Those whose tongues speak nothing about Kṛṣṇa but engage in other topics, are known as prajalpīs (idle gossipers) who speak pointless gibberish.
bhajanete udāsīna karmete pravīna
bahvārambhī se niyamāgrahī ati dīna
Those attention-seekers who are disinterested in bhajana but are very expert in other sorts of karmika activities are niyamāgrahīs (who are overly-attached to the injunctions of the śāstra, or who totally neglect them) – such persons are most wretched.
kṛṣṇa-bhakta-saṅga-vinā anya-saṅge rata
jana-saṅgī ku-viṣaya-vilāse vivrata
Those that neglect the association of Kṛṣṇa’s devotees and are attached to the company of others are jana-saṅgīs (worthless socialites) whose aim is material enjoyment.
nānā-sthāne bhrame yei nija svārtha tare
laulya-para bhakti-hīna saṁjña deya nare
Those who mercurially roam here and there for their own selfish purposes are laulya-paras (highly capricious) who have no bhakti.
ei chaya nahe kabhu bhakti adhikārī
bhakti-hīna lakṣya-bhraṣṭa viṣayī saṁsārī
These six never become qualified for bhakti. They are without bhakti, materialistic and devoid of any real purpose.
bhajane utsāha yāra bhitare bāhire
sudurlabha kṛṣṇa-bhakti pābe dhīre dhīre
Those who engage in bhajana with enthusiasm, both internally and externally, gradually attain kṛṣṇa-bhakti, which is very rare to achieve.
kṛṣṇa-bhakti prati yāra viśvāsa niścaya
śraddhavān bhaktimān jana sei haya
Those with firm belief in the path of kṛṣṇa-bhakti, are certainly faithful and devoted.
kṛṣṇa-sevā nā pāiyā dhīra-bhāve yei
bhaktira sādhana kare bhaktimān sei
Those that engage in sādhana–bhakti with patience, even if they have not yet attained service to Kṛṣṇa, are imbued with bhakti.
yāhāte kṛṣṇera sevā kṛṣṇera santoṣa
sei karme vratī sadā nā karaye roṣa
Those who constantly serve Kṛṣṇa and give Him pleasure never feel any anger while performing such activities.
kṛṣṇera abhakta-jana-saṅga parihari
bhaktimān bhakta-saṅge sadā bhaje hari
Rejecting the company of non-devotees, those who are blessed with bhakti should always worship Śrī Hari in the association of devotees.
kṛṣṇa-bhakta yāhā kare tad anusaraṇe
bhaktimān ācaraya jīvane maraṇe
Those with bhakti should take shelter of the devotees of Kṛṣṇa and follow their conduct, both in life and in death.
ei chaya jana haya bhakti adhikārī
viśvera-maṅgala kare bhakti paracāri
These six kinds of people are eligible for bhakti and their propagation of bhakti brings auspiciousness to the entire world.
dravyera pradāna āra ādāna karile
gopānīya vākyavyaya āra jijñāsile
bhojana karila āra bhojya khāuyāile
prītira lakṣaṇa haya yabe dui mile
Giving and receiving things. speaking confidentially and inquiring from others. accepting prasādam and feeding others prasādam – these are the symptoms of love when two devotees meet.
bhakta-jana saha prīti saṅga chaya ei
abhakte aprīti kare bhāgyavān yei
These are the six loving exchanges amongst devotees. Such fortunate souls do not show such affection towards non-devotees.
kṛṣṇa saha kṛṣṇa-nāma abhinna jāniyā
aprākṛta eka-mātra sādhana māniyā
Those that know Kṛṣṇa to be non-different from the Holy Name, exclusively follow transcendental sādhana.
yei nāma laya nāme dīkṣita haiyā
ādara karibe mane sva-goṣṭhī jāniyā
Those who chant the Holy Name and have accepted dīkṣā should be given respect from the heart and considered as members of one’s own family.
nāmera bhajane yei kṛṣṇa-sevā kare
aprākṛta vraje-vasi sarvadā antare
madhyama vaiṣṇava jāni dhara tāṅra pāya
ānugatya kara tāṅra mane āra kaya
Those who serve Kṛṣṇa through nāma-bhajana, while always living in the spiritual Vraja internally – such persons are known as madhyama Vaiṣṇavas (intermediate devotees) and one should take hold of their feet. One should remain subservient to them in both thought and deed.
nāmera bhajane yei svarūpa labhiyā
anya vastu nāhi dekhe kṛṣṇa teyāgiyā
Those who have attained their svarūpa through nāma-bhajana, see nothing but Kṛṣṇa in all things.
kṛṣṇetara sambandha nā pāiyā jagate
sarva-jane sama-buddhi kare kṛṣṇa-vrate
They accept nothing in this world which is unrelated to Kṛṣṇa, and they consider all living entities to be equally engaged in serving Kṛṣṇa.
tādṛśa bhajana-vijñe jāniyā abhīṣṭa
kāya-mano-vākye seva haiyā niviṣṭa
One should desire to know such experts in bhajana and attentively serve them with thought, word and deed.
śuśruṣā karibe tāṅre sarvato-bhāvete
kṛṣṇera caraṇa lābha haya tāhā haite
One must serve them in every way and thus one can attain Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.
śuddha-kṛṣṇa-bhakta tāṅra svabhāvika doṣa
āra tāṅra deha-doṣe na kariha roṣa
One must never become disturbed with a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa due to the defects found within their nature or body.
prākṛta darśane doṣa yadi dṛṣṭa haya
darśanete aparādha jānibe niścaya
If one sees such faults with material vision, know that such a vision is certainly offensive.
hīna-adhikārī haye mahatera doṣa
siddha-bhakte hīna-jñāne nā pare santoṣa
If someone with lower qualifications sees ‘faults’ in a great devotee, they can never become content due to their harbouring an inferior conception of such a perfected devotee.
brahma-drava gaṅgodaka pravāhe yakhana
budbuda-phena-paṅka jalera milana
anya-jala gaṅgā-lābhe heya kabhu naya
tadrūpa bhaktera mala kabhu nāhi raya
When water that contains bubbles, foam, and mud meets with the water of the Gaṅgā, which is liquid divinity, it never becomes polluted by mixing with the other water. Similarly, contaminations never exist within a devotee.
sādhu-doṣa-dṛṣṭā yei kṛṣṇa-ājñā tyaji
garve bhakta-bhrṣṭa haiyā mare adho maji
Those that see faults in a sādhu reject the instructions of Kṛṣṇa. Due to pride, their bhakti is ruined and they fall down and die.
upamā miśrira saha svāda tulya haya
Kṛṣṇa’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes – these four things are comparable to the taste of sugar-candy.
avidyā pittera tulya tāte jihvā tapta
jihvāra āsvāda-śakti taptahetu supta
Ignorance is compared to jaundice which inflicts the tongue. Such a disease arrests the tongue’s power of taste.
aprākṛta jñāne yadi lau sei nāma
nirantara nāma laile chāḍe pīḍādhāma
If one accepts the Holy Name as aprākṛṭa (transcendental) and chants it constantly, then the cause of this disease will vanish.
nāma-miśri krame krame vāsanā śamiyā
nāme ruci karāibe kalyāṇa āniyā
Gradually that Name of Kṛṣṇa, which is like sugar-candy, will pacify one’s material desires and the taste for the Holy Name will bring all auspiciousness.
guru-mukhe śunilei kīrtana udaya
When Kṛṣṇa’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes are heard from the lotus mouth of Śrī Guru, then real kīrtana actually manifests.
kīrtita haile krame smaraṇāṅga pāya
kīrtana smaraṇa-kāle krama-pathe dhāya
As His name, form, qualities and pastimes are glorified, one gradually attains the stage of smaraṇa (remembrance of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes). At that time, by cultivating kīrtana and smaraṇa, one gradually advances on the path.
jāta-ruci-jana jihvā mana milāiyā
With their mind and tongue, those who have come to the stage of jāta-ruci (the awakening of love for Kṛṣṇa) and have attachment for Kṛṣṇa, meditate upon the residents of Vraja.
nirantara vraja-vāsa mānasa bhajana
ei upadeśa-sāra karaha grahaṇa
Constantly residing in Vraja and engaging in bhajana within their mind, they accept this as the quintessence of all instructions.
vaikuṇṭha haite śreṣṭhā mathurā nagarī
janama labhilā yathā kṛṣṇacandra hari
The town of Mathurā is higher than Vaikuṇṭha since this is where Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra Hari appeared.
mathurā haite śreṣṭha vṛndāvana-dhāma
yathā sādhiyācche hari rasotsava-kāma
Greater than Mathurā is Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma because it is there that Hari fulfilled His desire to perform the rasa festival.
vṛndāvana haite śreṣṭha govardhana-śaila
giridhārī-gāndharvikā yathā krīḍā kaila
Superior to Vṛndāvana is Govardhana Hill where Giridhārī and Gāndarvikā perform Their playful pastimes.
govardhana haite śreṣṭha rādhā-kuṇḍa-taṭa
premāmṛte bhāsāila gokula lampaṭa
Higher than Govardhana is the bank of Rādhā-kuṇḍa where that divine debauchee of Gokula has released a flood of ambrosial prema.
govardhana-giri-taṭa rādhā-kuṇḍa chāḍi
anyatra ye kare nija kuñja puṣpa-bāḍī
nirbodha tāhāra sama keha nāhi āra
kuṇḍa-tīra sarvottama sthāna premādhāra
There is nobody as foolish as he who rejects Rādhā-kuṇḍa at the foot of Giri Govardhana to construct a house made of flowers in their own kuñja elsewhere. The bank of Rādhā-kuṇḍa is the greatest of all places and the very foundation of prema.
sattva-guṇe adhiṣṭita puṇyavān karmī
hari-priya-jana bali gāya saba dharmī
All those who follow the path of dharma declare that the pious karmīs who are situated in the mode of goodness are dear to Lord Hari.
karmī haite jñānī hari-priyattara jana
sukha-bhoga-buddhi jñānī nā kare gaṇana
Yet even dearer to Hari than the karmīs are the jñānīs, for they have no consideration about mundane happiness and sense-enjoyment.
jñāna-miśra-bhāva chāḍi mukta-jñānī-jana
parā-bhakti samāśraye hari-priya hana
Those liberated jñānīs who have abandoned the path of bhakti mixed with jñāna and have taken shelter of the path of exclusive bhakti are more dear to Hari.
bhaktimān jana haite prema-niṣṭha śreṣṭha
prema-niṣṭha haite gopī śrī-harira preṣṭha
Those who are fixed in prema are considered to be the greatest amongst all devotees, and amongst those who are fixed in prema, the gopīs are the most beloved of Śrī Hari.
gopī haite śrī-rādhikā kṛṣṇa-priyattamā
se rādhā-sarasī priya haya tāṅāra samā
Śrī Rādhikā is more dear to Kṛṣṇa than all the other gopīs, and Rādhā’s kuṇḍa is equally as dear to Him.
se kuṇḍa āśraya chāḍī kona muḍha-jana
anyatra basiyā cāya harira sevana
Which foolish person would abandon the shelter of that kuṇḍa and desire to reside anywhere else to serve Lord Hari?
śrīmatī rādhikā kṛṣṇa-kāntā-śiromaṇi
kṛṣṇa-priya madhye tāṅāra sama nāhi dhanī
Śrīmatī Rādhikā is the crest-jewel amongst the lovers of Kṛṣṇa. Amongst all those who are dear to Kṛṣṇa, no one is equal in their good fortune as Her.
muni-gaṇa śāstre rādhā-kuṇḍera varṇane
gāndharvikā-tulya kuṇḍa karaye gaṇane
In their śāstrika descriptions of Rādhā-kuṇḍa, the sages have declared that this kuṇḍa is equal to Gāndharvikā (Rādhikā).
nāradādi priya-varge ye prema durlabha
anya sādhakete tāhā kabhu nā sulabha
Prema, which is difficult to achieve even for Nārada and others that are very dear to the Lord, is never achieved easily by other sādhakas.
kintu rādhā-kuṇḍe snāna yei jana kare
madhura-rasete tāṅra snāne siddhi dhare
However, those who bathe in the waters of Rādhā-kuṇḍa, attain perfection in mādhurya-rasa.
aprākṛta-bhāve sadā yugala-sevana
rādhā-pāda-padma labhe sei hari-jana
Such servants of Hari will receive the transcendental service of the Divine Couple and the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā.
śrī vārṣabhānavī kare dayita-dāsere
kuṇḍa-tīre snāna dibe nijjana kare
When will Śrī Vārṣabhānavī make this servant of Her Beloved Her own, and allow him to bathe on the banks of Her kuṇḍa?
upadeśāmṛta-bhāṣā karila durjana
pāṭakāle hari-jana kariha śodhana
This unfortunate soul has composed the Upadeśāmṛta-
bhāṣā. At the time of reciting these verses, may the devotees of Lord Hari, kindly correct them.
upadeśāmṛta dhari rūpānuga-bhāve
jīvana yāpile kṛṣṇa-kṛpā sei pare
Those who accept these immortal instructions (Upadeṣāmṛta) and spend their lives following Śri Rūpa will attain the mercy of Kṛṣṇa.
satya treta dvāpare ye sakala bhakta
kṛṣṇa-kṛpā labhiyāche gṛhastha virakta
All the devotees that appeared in Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga and Dvāpara-yuga, both householders and renunciants, attained the mercy of Kṛṣṇa.
bhāvi-kāle vartamāne bhaktera samāja
sakalera pada-rajaḥ yāce dīna āja
Today, this fallen soul prays for the foot-dust of the entire Vaiṣṇava community – all those devotees that are present and all those who will appear in the future.
bhakativinoda-prabhu-anuga ye jana
dayita dāsera tāṅra pade nivedana
Dayita Dāsa offers his prayers at the feet of those persons who are followers of his divine master, Śrī Bhaktivinoda.
dayā kari doṣa hari bala hari hari
upadeśāmṛta-vāri śiropari dhari
Please be merciful, remove my faults, chant, “Hari, Hari!” and accept the waters of these ambrosial instructions, Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, upon your head.