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Prema Dhāma Deva Stotram with the Narasiṅgha Sevaka Commentary – Verses 66-72Prema Dhāma Deva Stotram with the Narasiṅgha Sevaka Commentary – Verses 66-72
By Published On: May 31, 2024Tags: 6.6 min read

Overview

Sajjana – Sama (A Devotee is Impartial) was written by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda and published in Sajjana Toṣaṇī, Vol. 20, Issue 5 in 1917. Continuing with his elaboration on the twenty-six qualities of a devotee, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura explains how only Vaiṣṇavas see all things with equanimity .

When two objects are of the same type, they are called equal. If two objects are dissimilar, they are called different rather than equal. If there is a difference in definition, a difference in form, a difference in quality and a difference in activities among material things that are inferior to Kṛṣṇa, then those things are not called equal. That is why all perceivable objects, or objects that are acquired through knowledge in the material world, are characterised as possessing unequal or variegated qualities. Differences are perceived amongst unequal objects. However, acknowledging the inherent nature of an object, devotee-scholars continue to view even diverse material objects that have been transformed by the bahirāṅga-śakti (external energy), with equanimity. In other words, they understand objects produced by the bahirāṅga-śakti as equal. Furthermore, if there is no perception of something being produced by the bahirāṅga-śakti, and there is perception of non-difference with the svarūpa-śakti, then they recognise such variety to be divine harmony, or coherence. The proponents of non-duality, desiring to be freed from the grip of material dualism, eliminate the power of variagatedness, and extensively praise the non-duality of objects. Even if they are not proponents of non-duality, devotees never accept the doctrine opposing the unity of objects. Devotees believe in the concept of śakti-pariṇāma (the transformation of potency). Therefore, material objects, which are transformed by the Lord’s potency, are identified by their attributes, while the bahiraṅga-śakti of Bhagavān manifests their mutual dissimilarities or diversity.

Even when there is a strong perception of diversity amongst objects within the material creation, devotees still see the intrinsic unity within them. Variety or material enjoyment is merely a property of matter; such variety and material enjoyment cannot exist in the eternal, non-material realm. Devotees are never polluted by the biased flaws of imaginary conceptions such as māyāvāda. The transcendental mahājanas affirm that there are indeed varieties of eternal potencies in the eternal world, yet, devotees or sādhus never establish inequality or differences amongst them. With the transcendental mahājanas, there is equality amongst the devotees. Therefore, Vaiṣṇavas are the only ones who are sama-darśī (those who see with equal vision).

The māyāvādīs, who see with a biased perspective, state, “The transformation of the world by śakti is false. There is no difference between the words śakti-pariṇāma and māyā. The mutual distinction between Bhagavān’s svarūpa-śakti and Bhagavān Himself is false. If there is a distinction between śakti (the potency) and śaktimān (the possessor of potency), then it gives rise to a duality amongst objects. Then the concept of sama-darśana (seeing all things equally) will be ruined.”

The devotee says, “Even though śakti and śaktimān are inseparable, they are distinct in terms of one being the viṣaya (supporter) and one being the āśraya (supported), and due to their diversity within the same existence, they are ultimately one or equal. Śaktimān is one Reality, but amongst all of His eternal potencies there exists the differences of svajātīya, vijātīya and svagata.*1 Even though He is a different Reality, He is the possessor of all potencies – He is not powerless. He is the refuge of mutually opposing potencies.”

Although objects manifested by the external māyā-śakti may be perceived as different by the jīva-śakti who is situated on the periphery of the external world, they assist the pure jīva who is disposed towards service in his devotion to Hari. Thus, devotees do not consider them to be dissimilar. For the pure jīva who is disposed towards service, criticism and praise are the same. Being content, he does not become overwhelmed by unbearable sorrow. He does not harbour desires and, being sama-darśi in relation to all beings, he attains the highest bhakti. A devotee who is inclined towards devotional service does not praise or criticise the nature and actions of others. A devotee remains sama-darśi, tolerating the intensity of both cold and heat. A devotee possesses equal vision towards a learned and humble brāhmaṇa as well as a lowly caṇḍāla, *(2) viewing with equanimity a sacred cow and an untouchable dog. It is his nature to see with equality an ant and a dog, or a giant and a dwarf. Due to the gradations in potency, there is no necessity to see difference in the nature of things. Even though there may be māyika differences between a brāhmaṇa and a caṇḍāla, a dog and a cow, or a cow and an elephant, a servant of Hari knows the inherent nature of them all. Mundane attachment does not act upon a sādhu. With a mood of detachment, they do not blindly attribute inequality to all those objects related to Hari. He knows that they can all assist in service to Kṛṣṇa.

To the extent that servitude to māyā is forgotten, the jīvas turn towards Kṛṣṇa. At that time, they develop prema for Hari, friendship with Hari’s servants, compassion towards those inclined towards Kṛṣṇa, and renouncing the association of those opposed to Hari, they become sama-darśi. If, at this stage of madhyama-adhikāra, they cunningly try to show off their impartiality, and instead of showing mercy to the innocent, they see them with equal vision, then a blemish will arise in the impartial considerations of a sādhu. If they consider the devotees to be equal to those who are hostile to Kṛṣṇa, then their aversion to the Lord increases even more. If one considers objects related to Hari to be products of matter and seeks refuge in their differences, rejecting any connection with them, then such a desire for renunciation will destroy one’s equanimity. *(3) No good result is achieved by violating one’s eligibility in regards to equality, yet when false renunciation is initiated, it damages one’s equanimity.

In consideration of impartiality, when wicked individuals imagine Brahmā, Rudra, and other Devas to be equal to Viṣṇu, the sama-darśi Vaiṣṇavas never approve of such notions. All the fluctuating states of the material world, which are temporary and produced by the time factor are never equal to that which is eternal. But for the sake of Kṛṣṇa, the all-endeavouring sādhu, rejects the mundane equality of material objects, perceives Bhagavān’s presence within them, and understands all things to be transcendental items to be used in the service of Kṛṣna, rather than for one’s own enjoyment.

Driven by lust, anger etc., the eternal companions of this material world tend to contemplate the inequality of objects, and by not perceiving the true nature of things, they create various kinds of anarthas. However, the transcendental devotees use lust in the service of Kṛṣṇa, anger towards those who hate the devotees, greed in associating with sādhus for kṛṣṇa-kathā, bewilderment in chanting Hari’s qualities, and madness in engaging in endeavours to attain their beloved Lord etc. Considering themselves as adversaries to all those Vaiṣṇavas who possess equal vision, biased persons who are opposed to Hari, bring about their own destruction. A devotee does not harbour inequality even towards his enemies – he always possesses impartiality.

*****

NOTES

* (1) Svajātīya (that which appears between things of the same category)

Vijātīya (that which appears between things of different categories)

Svagata (that which manifests itself in one and the same thing, either between its essence and form, or between its component parts)

*(2) A caṇḍāla is an outcaste who eats dog flesh.

*(3) The jñānīs, yogīs and māyāvādīs who desire mokṣa consider everything in this world as mundane and dualistic, therefore they reject everything.

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Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda appeared in this world in Jagannātha Purī in 1874. He was the son of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. Learning Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava philosophy from his esteemed father, he took initiation from the renowned ascetic, Śrī Gaura Kiśora Dāsa Bābāji in 1900. After accepting the sannyāsa order in 1918, he founded the Gauḍīya Maṭha with 64 centres in India and 3 abroad. Travelling the length and breadth of the subcontinent propagating the teachings of Śrī Caitanya, he departed from this world in 1937. He was the guru of many stalwart Vaiṣṇava ācāryas such as Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda, Śrīla B.R. Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī and Śrīla B.P. Purī Gosvāmī.
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