2021.09.04 (Vrindavan Today News): by Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Srimad Bhagavatam is called the “king of all spiritual books” (Grantha Raja) for good reason. Within this triguna-free, transcendental treatise, the amala-purana, which showcases the absolutely selfless, divine love of Srimati Radharani, one can find all the sweet, majestic and beautiful truths about the sadhana and sadhya (daily practice and perfection) of Gaudiya Vaisnavism.
In his most compassionate and wonderful shastra, Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja summarizes the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the six Goswamis of Vrindavana by mentioning the same Bhagavatam verses that they used to substantiate their sublime instructions. To emphasize the importance of these particular verses for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, the same Bhagavatam verse is often mentioned two, three or more times in the Sri Chaitanya Caritamrta.
This series of posts presents these verses, along with selected tikas of our acharyas and the compiler. We will cover the beautiful truths, tattvas, of Krishna, Radha, Vaisnavas, Sri Guru, Bhakti Sadhana, Nama, Prema and more.
Bhakti Brings Good Qualities
The Bhagavata says that all good qualities reside in a devotee who is engaged selflessly in Sri Krishna’s service:
yasyasti -bhaktir -bhagavaty -akincana
sarvair -gunais -tatra -samasate -surah
harav -abhaktasya -kuto -mahad -guna
mano-rathenasati -dhavato -bahih
The devatas and all their good qualities constantly dwell in one who has pure bhakti for Bhagavan Sri Krishna. However, there are no good qualities in the non-devotee who chases after temporary material objects with desires for sense pleasure. (SB 5.18.12)
Sri Jiva Goswami
Sri Radha has the highest degree of pure love for Sri Krishna. Thus, all good qualities and opulences are present within Radharani. (Krishna San. 190)
This verse praises the devotee who attains bhakti and all its good qualities by association. Good qualities always reside within devotees who distribute Hari-katha and relish the sweetness of Sri Krishna.
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Bhagavan Sri Krishna personally mentions the twenty-eight qualities of a Krishna bhakta in Srimad Bhagavatam (11.11.29-31):
(1) Krpalu. A devotee is merciful to others by helping them become Krishna conscious.
(2) Akrta-droha. A devotee never uses the mind, body or words to injure any living entity.
(3) Titikshu. A devotee tolerates all and forgives and forgets any offense against oneself.
(4) Satya-sara. One who lives by truth and whose strength comes from truthfulness.
(5) Anavadya-atma. One free from envy, jealousy and the tendency to agitate or criticize others.
(6) Sama. A devotee remains steady and equal in happiness or distress, fame or infamy.
(7) Sarvopakaraka. Endeavoring as far as possible for the spiritual welfare of others.
(8) Kamair ahata-dhi. One’s intelligence is not disturbed by material desires.
9) Danta. Controlling the senses.
10) Mridu. Devotee is gentle and sublime.
(11) Shuci. Clean, pure and well-behaved
(12) Akinchana. A devotee is free from possessiveness.
(13) Aniha. A devotee is free from worldly affairs.
(14) Mita-bhuk. Controlled eater.
(15) Shanta. Peaceful by controlling the mind.
(16) Sthira. Remaining steady in one’s duty.
(17) Mat-sharana. Accepts Bhagavan Sri Krishna as the sole shelter.
(18) Muni. A devotee is thoughtful and confronts all problems with steady Krishna consciousness.
(19) Apramatta. One who is cautious and sober.
(20) Gabhiratma. Grave and unchanging.
(21) Dhrtiman. Remaining steady and patient even in distress.
(22) Jita-shad-guna. One who conquers the six material qualities, namely hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion, old age and death.
(23) Amani. A devotee is without desire for prestige.
(24) Mana-da. A devotee offers all respects to others.
(25) Kalya. A devotee is expert in making people understand the truth of Krishna bhakti.
(26) Maitra. A devotee is the true friend of everyone.
(27) Karunika. A devotee always shows compassion to others.
(28) Kavi. A devotee is completely learned.
Ultimately, the most important quality is # 17, mat-sharana or Krishnaika-sharana, taking complete shelter of Krishna because Krishna can easily award all good qualities to a sincere devotee.
Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami described one great Vaishnava of his time: “The chief pujari at the Govindaji temple in Vrindavan was Haridasa Pundit. His reputation as a virtuous man spread throughout the world. Haridasa was polite, tolerant, peaceful, generous, grave, sweet in his words and endeavors, as well as sober.
“Haridasa was respectful to everyone and acted for the welfare of all. His heart was free from duplicity, envy, and malice.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.8.24-27)
We pray to the compassionate guardians of devotion like Sri Haridasa Pujari to bless us all with the shelter of Radha Govinda Yugal.
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!