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quinta-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2012



Sreyas and Preyas

sreyas ca preyas ca manusyameta-
stau samparitya vivinakti dhirah
sreyo hi dhiro' bhipreyaso vrnite
preyo mando yogaksemad vrnite

            Every soul has the option of accepting either the path of the senses (preyas)
or the path of spiritual well-being (sreyas). The wise, after carefully weighing
these accept the path of spiritual well-being, whereas deluded souls prefer the
path of sense enjoyment. (Katha Upanisad. 1.2.2)

The Purpose of Human Life

labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu-sambhavante
manusyam artha-dam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yateta na pated anu-mrtyu yavan
nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat

            After many births one achieves the human form, which, although tempo-
rary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus, a sober
person should immediately endeavor for the ultimate perfection of life and not
fall back into the cycle of repeated birth and death. After all, sense gratification
is available even in the most abominable species, whereas Krsna consciousness
is only possible for a human being. (Bhag. 11.9.29)

Three Different Paths Karma, Jnana, and Bhakti

yogas trayo maya prokta nrnam sreyo-vidhitsaya
jnanam karma ca bhaktis ca nopayo 'nyo 'sti kutracit

            [The Lord said] My dear Uddhava, because I desire human beings to achieve
perfection, I have presented three paths of advancement the path of knowl-
edge (jnana), the path of pious work (karma), and the path of devotion (bhakti).
There are no other paths besides these three. (Bhag. 11.20.6)

Who Qualifies for Karma, Jnana, or Bhakti

nirvinnanam jnana-yogo nyasinam iha karmasu
tesv anirvinna-cittanam karma-yogas tu kaminam

            Out of these three paths, those who are disgusted with fruitive work are
qualified for jnana-yoga. Those who are still charmed by fruitive work are quali-
fied for karma-yoga. (Bhag. 11.20.7)

yadrcchaya mat-kathadau jata-sraddhas tu yah puman
na nirvinno nati-sakto bhakti-yogo 'sya siddhi-dah

            One who, by good fortune, has firm faith in hearing Hari-katha and is not
attracted or repelled by material things, is qualified for perfection through bhakti-
yoga. (Bhag. 11.20.8)

tavat karmani kurvita na nirvidyeta yavata
mat-katha-sravanadau va sraddha yavan na jayate

            As long as one is not detached from fruitive work and material enjoyment,
and as long as one has no faith in devotion to Krsna, beginning with hearing and
chanting His glories, one should follow the religious principles on the path of
karma as given in the Vedas. (Bhag. 11.20.9)

To be Fixed in That for Which one is Qualified is a Good Quality

sve sve 'dhikare ya nistha sa gunah parikirtitah
viparyayas tu dosah syad ubhayor esa niscayah

            Being fixed in the position for which one is qualified is virtuous. The
opposite accepting a position for which one is unqualified is irresponsible and
is considered impious. This is the definite conclusion. (Bhag. 11.21.2)

sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah para-dharmat sv-anusthitat
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah para-dharmo bhayavahah

            It is better to do one's duty poorly than to do another's duty perfectly. It is
better to die doing one's duties than to leave them and follow another's dharma,
for to follow another's dharma is dangerous. (Bhagavad-gita 3.35)

Even Sages and Demigods are
Bewildered Trying to Understand the Vedas

sri-avirhotra uvaca
karmakarma vikarmeti veda-vado na laukikah
vedasya cesvaratmatvat tatra muhyanti surayah

            The classifications of karma (duties enjoined by the Vedas) akarma (acts
prohibited by the Vedas) and vikarma (those acts neither sanctioned nor for-
bidden) are defined in the Vedas, which are of supernatural origin. Therefore,
because the Vedas emanate from God, even though sages and demigods are
bewildered in trying to understand them, they are conclusive. (Bhag. 11.3.43)

paroksa-vado vedo 'yam balanam anusasanam
karma-moksaya karmani vidhatte hy agadam yatha

            The Vedas often imply something deeper and different from the superfi-
cial interpretation of its words. Thus they sometimes instruct us indirectly about
the Truth. As a child is tempted to take bitter medicine by something sweet the
Vedas sometimes glorify the path of karma, but the true goal of the Vedas is
liberation from karma. (Bhag. 11.3.44)

nacared yas tu vedoktam svayam ajno 'jitendriyah
vikarmana hy adharmena mrtyor mrtyum upaiti sah

            [One should not prematurely give up Vedic injunctions, thinking them ex-
ternal to the process of liberation]. Rather, if an ignorant person who cannot
control his senses, ignores the Vedic injunctions, he will engage in irreligious
and impious activities, and thus will suffer repeated birth and death.
(Bhag. 11.3.45)

vedoktam eva kurvano nihsango 'rpitam isvare
naiskarmyam labhate siddhim rocanartha phala-srutih

            One who performs actions sanctioned by the Vedas, without attachment,
and who dedicates his work to the Supreme Lord is freed from the reactions of
karma. The promise of the fruits of karma mentioned in the Vedas is only
meant to encourage the foolish to engage in karma-yoga. [For all the above-
reasons, the Vedas sometimes encourage the path of karma, to gradually bring
the foolish souls to the platform of freedom from karma and full engagement in
bhakti ]. (Bhag. 11.3.46)

The Vaisnava Guru Never Encourages Karma

svayam nihsreyasam vidvan na vakty ajnaya karma hi
na rati rogino 'pathyam vanchato 'pi bhisaktamah

            A pure devotee, who is fully accomplished in the science of devotional
service, will never instruct a foolish person to engage in fruitive activities for
material enjoyment, not to speak of helping him in such activities. Such a devo-
tee is like an experienced doctor who never encourages a patient to eat food
injurious to his health, even if the patient desires it. (Bhag. 6.9.50)

Karma-yoga Does not Give Freedom
From the Fear of Birth and Death

istveha devata yajnaih svar-lokam yati yajnikah
bhunjita deva-vat tatra bhogan divyan nijarjitan

            [The Lord said] If one performs sacrifice, or karma-yoga according to
varnasrama-dharma, his fruits will be temporary. By satisfying the gods through
sacrifice, he gets good karma and goes to the heavenly planets where he enjoys
as if he were a god. He thus enjoys the results of his good karma for a brief time
in the heavenly planets. (Bhag. 11.10.23)

tavat sa modate svarge yavat punyam samapyate
ksina-punyah pataty arvag anicchan kala-calitah

            As long as the piety accumulated from good karma is plentiful, he enjoys
opulent pleasures in the heavenly planets. When the accumulated piety of his
good karma is exhausted his time of enjoyment is finished, and he again falls
down from heaven. (Bhag. 11.10.26)

te tam bhuktva svarga-lokam visalam
ksine punye martya-lokam visanti
evam trayi-dharmam anuprapanna
gatagatam kama-kama labhante

            When they have thus enjoyed heavenly sense pleasure, they again return
to this mortal world. Thus, those who are filled with desires and follow the
Vedas to attain material enjoyment achieve only flickering pleasure. They are
then cast down to suffer repeated birth and death. (Bhagavad-gita 9.21)

Bhagavatam Derides Karma and Jnana

naiskarmyam apy acyuta-bhava-varjitam
na sobhate jnanam alam niranjanam
kutah punah sasvad abhadram isvare
na carpitam karma yad apy akaranam

            The freedom from karma or liberation attained through impersonal knowl-
edge is ugly because it is devoid of a conception of the personal absolute. What
then is the use of karmic activities? They are painful and inauspicious from
beginning to end, and their results are temporary. Of what use is any work if it
is not for Krsna's pleasure? Merely retiring from work cannot bring about
fulfillment. Even liberation, which is free from karma, cannot be considered
perfection for it lacks a personal conception of reality. How then, can one
expect fulfillment in a life of laborious work which is not done for the satisfac-
tion of Krsna? (Bhag. 1.5.12)

Materialistic Karmic Activities arc Condemned

neha yat karma dharmaya na viragaya kalpate
na tirtha-pada-sevayai jivann api mrto hi sah

            Anyone whose work (karma) does not elevate him to religious life
(dharma), whose religious life does not lead to renunciation (vairagya) and whose
renunciation does not lead to devotional service to the Supreme Lord is counted
among the living dead. (Bhag. 3.23.56)

dharmah svanusthitah pumsam visvaksena-kathasu yah
notpadayed yadi ratim srama eva hi kevalam

            Any religious practices and occupational duties that do not promote at-
traction for the message of the Personality of Godhead are certainly a useless
waste of time. (Bhag. 1.2.8)

dharmasya hy apavargyasya nartho 'rthayopakalpate
narthasya dharmaikantasya kamo labhaya hi smrtah

            All dharmas are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never
be performed for material gain. Further, according to sages, one engaged in the
ultimate occupational duty should never use material gain to cultivate sense
gratification. (Bhag. 1.2.9)

kamasya nendriya-pritir labho jiveta yavata
jivasya tattva-jijnasa nartho yas ceha karmabhih

            Life's desires should never be aimed at sensual enjoyment. One should
not wish for anything more than what is needed for self-preservation, because
the real purpose of human life is to inquire after the Absolute Truth. Nothing
else should be the goal of one's works. (Bhag. 1.2.10)

The Path of Karma is Condemned in the Vedas

plava hyete adrdha yajnarupa
astadasoktamavaram yesu karma
etacchreyo ye' bhinandanti mudha
jara-mrtyum te punarevapi yanti

            Even the best kinds of karmic sacrifice carefully performed with eighteen
priests are unreliable boats for crossing the ocean of material existence. Those
deluded souls who take to materialistic forms of sacrifice, thinking that they
lead to the highest spiritual gain, are fools who suffer again and again the miser-
ies of birth, death, old age, and disease. (Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.7)

avidyayamantare vartamanah
svayam dhirah panditam manyamanah
janghanyamanah pariyanti mudha
andhenaiva niyamana yathandhah

            Thus deluded by ignorance, but thinking themselves to be wise, sober, and
learned, such fools, even while suffering the miseries of sense enjoyment, lead
other fools into darkness, just as blind men lead other blind men into a ditch.
(Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.8)

avidyayam bahudha vartamana
vayam krtartha ity-abhimanyanti balah
yat karmino na pravedayanti ragat
tenaturah ksina-lokas-cyavante

            Deep in the darkness of ignorance, these fools think, "We have reached
the goal". Being attached to karmic religions they fail to understand the truth.
After their piety is exhausted they fall down to repeated birth and death.
(Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.9)

Without Worshiping Visnu, Worship of Demigods is Improper

ye 'py anya-devata-bhakta yajante sraddhayanvitah
te 'pi mam eva kaunteya yajanty avidhi-purvakam

            Those who faithfully dedicate themselves to the worship of demigods
worship Me indirectly, but their worship is done with improper understanding.
(Bhagavad-gita 9.23)

Impersonalism is Condemned in the Upanisads

andham tamah pravisanti ye 'vidyam upasate
tato bhuya iva te tamo ya u vidyayam ratah

            Those who engage in the culture of ignorance [and so perform karma-
kanda worship to attain their desired object] shall enter into dark regions of
ignorance. Worse still are those engaged in the culture of so-called knowledge.
They enter into a realm of even greater darkness. (Isopanisad 9)

kleso 'dhikataras tesam avyaktasakta-cetasam
avyakta hi gatir duhkham dehavadbhir avapyate

            For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifest, impersonal feature
of the Absolute, advancement is very troublesome. Progress in that discipline
is always difficult for those who are embodied. (Bhagavad-gita 12.5)

The Scriptures Condemn the Ascending Path of Knowledge

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir
ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam

            [Lord Brahma said] My dear Lord, those devotees who have thrown away
the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth and have therefore abandoned
discussing empirical philosophical truths should hear from self-realized devo-
tees about Your holy name, form, pastimes, and qualities. They should com-
pletely follow the principles of devotional service. Surrendering fully with
body, mind, and words they can live in any position. Indeed, O Lord,
although You are unconquerable, You are conquered by such persons.
(Bhag. 10.14.3)

sreyah-srtim bhaktim udasya te vibho
klisyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye
tesam asau klesala eva sisyate
nanyad yatha sthula-tusavaghatinam

            My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the only auspicious path.
Those who reject the path of bhakti and try to reach the infinite with their finite
brains will never succeed. O Lord, those who want to have a clear conception
of You through their intellect find their attempts useless. Their endeavors end
only in trouble and frustration, like the frustration of those who try to beat rice
from empty husks. (Bhag. 10.14.4)

The Followers of the Ascending and
Descending Path and Their Destinations

ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninas
tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah
aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah
patantya adho 'nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah

            Someone may say that aside from Vaisnavas, who always seek shelter at
the Lord's lotus feet, there are those who are not Vaisnavas but have accepted
different process for attaining salvation. What happens to them? In answer to
this question, Lord Brahma says: O lotus-eyed Lord, although non-devotees
who accept severe austerities and penance's to achieve the highest position may
think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. Although they may rise
to the level of impersonal Brahman realization, they fall down from their posi-
tion of imagined superiority because they neglect to worship Your lotus feet.
(Bhag. 10.2.32)

tatha na te madhava tavakah kvacid
bhrasyanti margat tvayi baddha-sauhrdah
tvayabhigupta vicaranti nirbhaya
vinayakanikapa-murdhasu prabho

            O Madhava, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord of the goddess of
fortune, if devotees completely in love with You sometimes fall from the path
of devotion, they do not fall down like non-devotees, for You still protect them.
Thus they fearlessly traverse the heads of their opponents and continue to
progress in devotional service. (Bhag. 10.2.33)

jivan-mukta api punar-bandhanam yanti karmabhih
yady-acintya-maha-saktau bhagavaty-aparadhinah

            Those souls who have attained liberation while living can again become
bound if they commit an offense to the inconceivably powerful Supreme Per-
sonality of Godhead. (Vasana-bhasyodhrta Sri Bhagavata-parisista-vacana)

jivan-muktah prapadyante kvacit samsara-vasanam
yogino na vilipyante karmabhir-bhagavat-parah

            Those who have attained liberation while living sometimes develop
material attachment, but those who are fixed in bhakti-yoga, who have dedicated
themselves to Krsna, will never again have to suffer repeated birth and death.
(Vasana-bhasyodhrta Sri Bhagavata-parisista-vacana)

nanu-vrajati yo mohadavrajantam jagadisvaram
jnanagnidagdha-karmapi sa bhaved brahmaraksasah

            Out of foolishness if one does not follow the Lord of the universe when he
goes out on a chariot then such a person will become Brahma-raksasa even if he
is a liberated person. (Ratha-yatra-prasange Sri Visnu-bhakti-candrodayoddhrta

Material Education, Austerity, Work, Knowledge,
or Eightfold Yoga, Cannot Enable one to see God

adyapi vacas-patayas tapo-vidya-samadhibhih
pasyanto 'pi na pasyanti pasyantam paramesvaram

            [The most powerful Lord Brahma, the father of all progenitors, Lord Siva;
Manu, Daksa and other rulers of humankind, the four saintly Brahmacaris
headed by Sanaka and Sanatana, the great sages Marici, Atri, Angira, Pulastya,
Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrgu, and Vasistha, and my humble self (Narada) are all stal-
wart brahmans.] All of us can speak authoritatively on Vedic literature. We are
very powerful because of austerities, meditation and education. Nonetheless,
even after searching for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who sees every-
thing, we cannot see Him or understand Him. (Bhag. 4.29.44)

The Instruction of the Vedas About the
Ascending Path of Impersonal Knowledge

nayam-atma-pravacanena labhyo na medhaya na bahuna srutena
yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam

            The Supreme Self can never be known by argument, reasoning, intelli-
gence, or scholarship. By His own sweet will, however, the Lord may choose to
reveal Himself to someone in His personal divine form. Only such a person can
see the Lord. (Mundaka Upanisad 3.2.3)

athapi te deva padambuja-dvaya-prasada-lesanugrhita eva hi
janati tattvam bhagavan-mahimno na canya eko 'pi ciram vicinvan

            [Lord Brahma said] My Lord, if one is favored by even a slight trace of the
mercy of Your lotus feet, he can understand the greatness of Your personality.
But those who speculate are unable to know you, even though they study the
Vedas for many years. (Bhag. 10.14.29)

isvarera krpa-lesa haya ta' yahare
sei ta' isvara-tattva janibare pare

            If one receives but a tiny bit of the Lord's favor by dint of devotional ser-
vice, he can understand the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
(Cc. Madhya 6.83)

Bhakti is Superior to Karma and Jnana

sva-sukha-nibhrta-cetas tad-vyudastanya-bhavo
'py ajita-rucira-lilakrsta-saras tadiyam
vyatanuta krpaya yas tattva-dipam puranam
tam akhila-vrjina-ghnam vyasa-sunum nato 'smi

            Let me offer my respectful obeisance's unto my spiritual master, the son of
Vyasadeva, Sukadeva Gosvami. It is he who defeats all inauspicious things
within this universe. Although in the beginning he was absorbed in the happi-
ness of Brahman realization and was living in a secluded place, giving up all
other types of consciousness, he became attracted by the most melodious pas-
times of Lord Krsna. He therefore mercifully spoke the supreme Purana, Srimad
Bhagavatam, which is the bright light of the Absolute Truth and which describes
the activities of Lord Krsna. (Bhag. 12.12.69)

The Eightfold Yoga System Does not Lead to the Highest Goal

yamadibhir yoga-pathaih kama-lobha-hato muhuh
mukunda-sevaya yadvat tathatmaddha na samyati

            By yoga practice one may be able to control the senses and become
relatively free from lust and greed, but this will never satisfy the soul. Only devo-
tional service to Krsna gives complete satisfaction to the soul. (Bhag. 1.6.35)

Mind Control Through Pranayama is Impossible

yunjananam abhaktanam pranayamadibhir manah
aksina-vasanam rajan drsyate punar utthitam

            Nondevotees who attempt to control the mind through pranayama may
succeed for a time, but ultimately their minds are filled with subtle desires, there-
fore, they soon become attached once again to the sense objects. (Bhag. 10.51.60)

prayasah pundarikaksa yunjanto yogino manah
visidanty asamadhanan mano-nigraha-karsitah

            O lotus-eyed Lord, those yogis who try to control their minds are frus-
trated in their attempts to attain samadhi, and soon tire of their efforts at mind
control. (Bhag. 11.29.2)

Yoga and Pranayama are a Waste of Time

antarayan vadanty eta yunjato yogam uttamam
maya sampadyamanasya kala-ksapana-hetavah

            The wise have concluded that yoga and its mystic perfection's are impedi-
ments on the path of the Absolute Truth. They are a waste of time for those
who wish to practice the best yoga, devotional service, and thus attain the
highest perfection [love of Godhead]. (Bhag. 11.15.33)

Who is a Real Yogi and Sannyasi?

anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca na niragnir na cakriyah

            One who is unattached to the fruits of his work yet does his duty is a true
sannyasi and a yogi, not he who lights no fire of sacrifice or performs no work.
(Bhagavad-gita 6.1)

niskama haiyakare ye krsna-bhajana
tahare se bali "yogi" sannyasa-laksana
visnu-kriya na karile paranna khaile
kicchu nahe, saksatei ei vede bale

            One who worships Krsna without material desires is a real yogi and has
symptoms of sannyasi. Those who do not work for Visnu but eat from others
are parasites. That is the version of the Vedas. (C.bhag. Antya 3.41-42)

tapasvibhyo 'dhiko yogi jnanibhyo 'pi mato 'dhikah
karmibhyas cadhiko yogi tasmad yogi bhavarjuna

            A yogi is greater than a ascetic, a jnani, or a karmi. Therefore, O Arjuna,
always be a yogi. (Bhagavad-gita 6.46)

yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantar-atmana
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah

            Of all yogis, who always abides in Me with great faith, always thinking of
Me and worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately
united with Me in yoga. He is the highest of all. (Bhagavad-gita 6.47)

Without Bhakti There is no Means to Attain the Supreme

na sadhayati mam yogo na sankhyam dharma uddhava
na svadhyayas tapas tyago yatha bhaktir mamorjita

            I am not controlled by those who practice mystic yoga, Sankhya philoso-
phy, mundane piety and religion, study of the Vedas, penances and renuncia-
tion. O Uddhava, I am controlled by bhakti. Those who have developed unal-
loyed devotion for Me control Me by their love. (Bhag. 11.14.20)

Pure Devotion is the Only Means to Attain Krsna

'bapera dhana ache' jnane dhana nahi paya
tabe sarvajna kahe tare praptira upaya
'ei sthane ache dhana' yadi daksine khudibe
'bhimarula-baruli' uthibe, dhana na paibe
'pascime' khudibe, taha 'yaksa' eka haya
se vighna karibe, dhane hata na padaya
'uttare' khudile ache krsna 'ajagare'
dhana nahi pabe, khudite gilibe sabare
purva-dike tate mati alpa khudite
dhanera jhari padibeka tomara hatete
aiche sastra kahe, karma, jnana, yoga tyaji'
'bhaktye' krsna vasa haya, bhaktye tanre bhaji
ataeva 'bhakti' krsna-praptyera upaya
'abhidheya' bali' tare sarva-sastre gaya
dhana paile yaiche sukha-bhoga phala paya
sukha-bhoga haite duhkha apani palaya
taiche bhakti-phale krsne prema upajaya
preme krsnasvada haile bhava nasa paya
daridrya-nasa, bhava-ksaya, premera 'phala' naya
prema-sukha-bhoga mukhya prayojana haya

            Although being assured of his father's treasure, the poor man could not
acquire this treasure by such knowledge alone. The astrologer had to tell him,
therefore, the means whereby he could actually find the treasure. The astrolo-
ger said, "The treasure is in this place, but if you dig on the southern side, the
wasps and drones will rise, and you will not get your treasure. If you dig on the
western side, a ghost will create such a disturbance that your hands will not
even touch the treasure. If you dig on the northern side, a big black snake will
devour you. If, however, you dig up a small quantity of dirt on the eastern side,
you will immediately touch the pot of treasure. Revealed scriptures conclude
that one should give up fruitive activity, speculative knowledge, and the mystic
yoga system. Instead one should take to devotional service, by which Krsna
can be fully satisfied. The conclusion is that devotional service is the only means
to approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This system is therefore
called abhidheya. This is the verdict of all revealed scriptures. When one is
actually rich he naturally enjoys all kinds of happiness. When one is actually
a happy mood, all distressful conditions go away by themselves. No extraneous
endeavor is needed. Similarly, as a result of bhakti, one's dormant love for
Krsna awakens. Then one can taste the association of Lord Krsna. And mater-
ial existence, the repetition of birth and death, comes to an end. The goal of
love of Godhead is not to become materially rich or free from material bond-
age. The real goal is to be situated in devotional service to the Lord and to
enjoy transcendental bliss. (Cc. Madhya 20.131-136, 139-142)

The Goal of Bhakti and the Goal of Karma
and Jnana are not the Same

tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti te

            To those who are constantly devoted, serving Me with love, I give the
understanding by which they can come to Me. (Bhagavad-gita 10.10)

yogasya tapasas caiva nyasasya gatayo 'malah
mahar janas tapah satyam bhakti-yogasya mad-gatih

            Those who practice mystic yoga, who perform great austerities and accept
sannyasa, may attain the sinless realms of Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapaloka, and
Satyaloka, but those who practice bhakti-yoga, devotional service unto Me, at-
tain My abode. (Bhag. 11.24.14)

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah
bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino 'pi mam

            Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods; those
who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and
spirits take birth among such beings, and those who worship Me will live with
Me. (Bhagavad-gita 9.25)

'mukti, bhukti vanche yei, kahan duohara gati?'
'sthavara-deha, deva-deha yaiche avasthiti'

            "And what is the destination of those who desire liberation and those
who desire sense gratification?" Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked. Ramananda Raya
replied, "Those who attempt to merge into the existence of the Supreme Lord
will have to accept a body like that of a tree. And those who are overly inclined
toward sense gratification will attain the bodies of demigods.'' (Cc. Madhya 8.257)

The Character of Bhakti

mac-citta mad-gata-prana bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantas ca mam nityam tusyanti ca ramanti ca
            The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully de-
voted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always
enlightening one another and conversing, about Me.
(Bhagavad-gita l0.9)

Thus ends the Twelfth Jewel of the Gaudiya Kanthahara, entitled Abhidheya-tattva.

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Guru Position Paper

Dear devotees,

Please accept our dandavat pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Since the departure of our beloved Gurudeva, Nitya-lila pravista Om Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, the Sannyasa Council in consultation with the members of the Bhakti Trust International, senior math commanders and eminent preachers, has begun the process of developing and codifying the principles and aims of our sanga, known as the International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society. Sri Guru is always present in his instructions and within the hearts of sincere disciples. We pray fervently that Srila Gurudeva guide us in our humble attempts to fulfill his mano bhista. Our discussions thus far have resulted in two papers that are being presented for your consideration.

Our Society, as envisioned by Srila Gurudeva, has many responsibilities and yet has a distinctive inclination towards encouraging individual initiative and decision making on the local level. The institution or society has as its primary responsibility, the preservation and teaching of the eternal spiritual principles conveyed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through our guru-parampara . The form that our society takes and any guidelines and bylaws that we may adopt, are meant to follow and uphold those principles.

Thus you will see in the two papers that are presented, that there is little in the way of rules and regulations. The topic is mostly guru-tattva and how we are responding to the complexities of that issue now that there are multiple devotees taking on that role within the same society. The emphasis is to clarify our spiritual relationships and our mutual goals. The processes by which we achieve these may be adjusted according to time, place and circumstance, as long as the original principles remain fixed as our guiding beacon.

The first paper on guru-tattva was written to be presented at the Vraja-mandala Parikrama of 2011. There were some issues that had not yet been discussed by the international body of sannyasis and senior devotees. We waited for those meetings to be concluded so that a summary of those discussions could be given at the same time. These meetings addressed the practical application of the guru-tattva paper based on the experiences gained and input received from members of the world-wide sanga over the last 9 months. The second paper is a summary of the meetings held in Govardhana during the parikrama in November, 2011.

These papers will certainly stimulate discussion and responses from devotees around the world. That is a good thing. Please keep the discussions philosophical and respectful. The discussions may center around guru-tattva or they may explore other areas of personal and sanga development. This is a challenging and exciting time. Let your voices be heard.

Aspiring for the service of Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas,

Swami BV Vaikhanas