Srila-Bhakti-Vinod-Thakur-03

Honouring The Devotees

Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur’s commentary on the fifth verse of Śrī Upadeśāmṛta.

The following is a translation of Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur’s poetic Bengali translation, Bhāṣā, and Bengali prose commentary, Pīyūṣa-varṣiṇī-vṛtti, on Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu’s Śrī Upadeśāmṛta.

These texts were published in Śrī Gauḍīya Darśan, in Volume 2, Issue 11, 10 June 1957,  Volume 2, Issue 12, 12 July 1957, and Volume 3, Issue 1, 12 August 1957. In combination with Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s Anuvṛtti, they were also published as a book from Śrī Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh by Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj in 1970.

The Upadeśāmṛta of Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī is also extremely good for us; we published Upadeśāmṛta before.”

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj,
Affectionate Guidance

Śrī Upadeśāmṛta Verse Five

kṛṣṇeti yasya giri taṁ manasādriyeta
dīkṣāsti chet praṇatibhiś cha bhajantam īśam
śuśrūṣayā bhajana-vijñam ananyam anya-
nindādi-śūnya-hṛdam īpsita-saṅga-labdhyā [5]

ādriyeta–Honour manasā–with the mind taṁ–one yasya–from whose giri–mouth kṛṣṇa iti–the Name of Kṛṣṇa [has appeared]. [ādriyeta–Honour] [them] praṇatibhiś cha–with obeisance chet–if dīkṣā asti–they are initiated cha–and bhajantam īśam–serve the Lord. [ādriyeta–Honour] śuśrūṣayā–with service bhajana-vijñam–an expert in devotion, ananyam–who is exclusive, anya-nindādi-śūnya-hṛdam–whose heart is free from criticising and praising others, [and] īpsita-saṅga-labdhyā–whose association is most desirable to attain. [5]

“Honour within the mind one who chants Kṛṣṇa’s Name (the kaniṣṭha-adhikārī), honour with obeisance one who is initiated and engaged in the Lord’s service (the madhyam-adhikārī), and honour with service one who is expert in devotion, who is exclusively devoted, whose heart is free from the duality of criticising and praising others, and who is most desirable association (the uttam-adhikārī).”

Bhāṣā

asat lakṣaṇa hīna gāya kṛṣṇa-nāma
manete ādara tāte kara
aviśrāma [1]

Always honour within the mind one who is free from bad qualities and chants the Name of Kṛṣṇa.

labdha-dīkṣā kṛṣṇa bhaje yei mahājana
praṇami’ ādara tāre kara sarva-kṣaṇa [2]

Always honour with obeisance a great soul who is initiated and serves Kṛṣṇa.

bhajana-chatura yei tā̐ra kara sevā
kṛṣṇamaya sabe dekhe suvaiṣṇava yebā [3]

śatru mitra sad asat kichhu nā vichāre
sarvottama saṅga bali’ sevaha tā̐hāre [4]

Serve those who are expert in devotion. Consider the association of such great Vaiṣṇavas, who see Kṛṣṇa within everything and do not conceive of enemies and friends or good and bad, to be the best of all and serve them.

Pīyūṣa-varṣiṇī-vṛtti

īśvare tad-adhīneṣu bāliśeṣu dviṣatsu cha
prema-maitrī-kṛpopekṣā yaḥ karoti sa madhyamaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.46)

[“One who loves the Lord, befriends the devotees, is merciful to the innocent, and ignores the inimical is an intermediate devotee.”]

According to this teaching, as long as a practitioner remains in the stage of an intermediate devotee, they should serve the devotees. Because advanced devotees see Kṛṣṇa’s presence everywhere, they make no distinctions between friends and enemies, devotees and non-devotees, and so on. Intermediate devotees engage in service. In this fifth verse, their behaviour towards devotees has been prescribed. Intermediate devotees should keep away from those who associate with women and other nondevotees, and thus remain free from their faults. But because less intelligent beginners lack understanding of their relationship of the Lord (sambandha-jñān), intermediate devotees should know them to be innocent and be merciful to them. Upon hearing the Name of Kṛṣṇa from their mouths, intermediate devotees should honour them within the mind according to their relationship with them. If initiated persons (beginners) engage in the service of the Lord, then intermediate devotees should honour them with obeisance. Intermediate devotees should gratefully honour great devotees who are free from the tendency to criticise others, knowing them to be most desirable association. Serving the Vaiṣṇavas in this way is the root of all perfection.

Reference

Read Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur’s commentary on Śrī Upadeśāmṛta: verses onetwothree, and four.

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