Chapter 11: Bondage and Liberation Explained and the Saintly Person His Devotional Service
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-17, 9:46 PM
    Chapter 11: Bondage and Liberation Explained and the Saintly Person His Devotional Service (1) The Supreme Lord said: 'The explanation of being bound and being liberated due to My modes is that in reality they are not of the modes at all; My illusory energy is not the cause of bondage or liberation of [relating to] Me [*]. (2) Lamentation and illusion, happiness and distress and one's acceptance of a material body under the influence of mâyâ are merely notions of the intelligent self that prove the different mundane states of existence to be just as unreal as what one experiences in a dream. (3) Please, Uddhava, understand that knowledge and ignorance are two forms of My manifestation that, produced by My original potency, give rise to bondage and liberation. (4) Of the living entity, that is part and parcel of My Oneness o great intelligence, bondage is there since time immemorial because of ignorance and the opposite [of liberation] is there because of knowledge. (5) Let Me now, My dear, dilate on the different characteristics of the opposing nature of being conditioned and being liberated, that thus is found in one manifestation of character. (6) The two friends form a pair of birds of a similar nature who happen to have a nest in a tree. One of them eats the tree its fruits while the other refrains from eating, even though he is of superior strength [see also 6.4: 24]. (7) The one not eating the fruits of the tree, omniscient knows himself [Himself] as well as the other bird. The one eating doesn't give it any thought and is always bound, while the one who is full of knowledge at all times is liberated [see also B.G. 4: 5]. (8) An enlightened person does not consider himself the body he inhabits, just like when a dreamer forgets his dream body when he rises in the morning. A foolish person though thinks differently despite of being situated in the body [as its controller], he thinks like in a dream [he identifies with, see B.G. 16: 18]. (9) Free from the contamination of desire an enlightened person will not consider himself the doer, he rather considers his actions to be the operation of the by the modes of nature directed senses that respond to the by the modes created sense objects [see B.G. 3: 28]. (10) Because of the actions that factually are called down by the modes is the ignorant soul, inhabiting the body that is ruled by destiny, thus bound to [the egotistical notion of] 'I am the one who engages' [see also B.G. 3: 27]. (11) An intelligent person not attached to outer appearances is in his resting, sitting, walking, bathing, seeing, touching, smelling, eating, hearing and so on, thus never bound, regardless the direction in which he moves with his sensuality. (12-13) Even though situated in the material world, he cuts, completely aloof from its ruling powers, with all doubts with the assistance of the most expert and by detachment sharpened vision. Just as the sky, the sun and the wind are aloof, he has, like having awakened from a dream, turned away from the separateness of things. (14) The person of whom the functions of the life breath, the senses, the mind and the intelligence are not directed by desires, is completely free, despite of being situated in a body that is ruled by the senses. (15) Sometimes is one's body for some reason attacked [by animals or enemies] and sometimes is one worshiped [by a lover or a follower], but an intelligent person is never affected when that happens [see B.G. 14: 22-25]. (16) With an equal vision having moved beyond the notion of good and bad a wise man will not praise those who are doing or speaking very well, nor criticize others who are doing or speaking poorly [see also B.G. 5: 18]. (17) One who is satisfied within should not act upon, speak about or contemplate matters of good and bad. A wise man should with this way of living wander around like a dull materialistic person [see also 5.9]. (18) Someone who is well versed in vedic literature but not that smart engages with the supreme interest [the Lord], will as a result of his efforts achieve a result comparable to the result of a person taking care of a cow that gives no milk. (19) O Uddhava, he who takes care of a cow that has given her milk, an unchaste wife, a body always dependent upon others, unworthy children, an unworthy recipient while donating, and he who wants to speak without any knowledge of Me [see also 10.14: 4 and 5.6: 11], suffers one misery after the other. (20) A wise person, My best, should not engage in terms of disrespect for My purifying activities or desired appearances in the form of the pastime incarnations [the lîlâ-avatâras] in service of the maintenance, creation and annihilation of the world, o Uddhava. (21) When one sorts this out and thus gives up the misconception of the material diversity as existing separately from the soul [**] should one, with fixing one's purified mind upon Me, the All-pervading One [see also B.G. 7: 19], put an end to one's materialistic life [B.G. 18: 55]. (22) And if you're not able to steady your mind on the spiritual platform, then dedicate, not deviating [from the regulative principles], all your actions to Me without expecting anything in return [B.G. 12: 11, 10: 10, 18: 54]. (23-24) A person of belief who listens to the narrations about My birth and activities, that with one's purifying, singing, constant rememberance and also dramatic expression are all-auspicious to the world, will, when he under My protection for My sake regulates his religiosity, sensual pleasure and finances [the purushârtas], develop an unflinching devotion unto Me, the Eternal One, o Uddhava. (25) By one's devotion for Me as acquired in sat-sanga [the association with devotees] becomes one My worshiper. As one can see with My devotees those people reach My abode easily.'

    (26-27) S'rî Uddhava said: 'What kind of person would in Your opinion, o Uttamas'loka, be a saintly person, and what sort of worship unto You would carry the approval of Your pure devotees? Please speak about this to me, Your surrendered devotee who loves You as his only shelter, o Master of the Universe, Supervisor of the World and Commander of the Person. (28) You the Supreme God and Spirit alike the sky, the Original Person transcendental to material nature, are with Your incarnation, in which You accepted different bodies, the Supreme Lord according to the desire of the ones belonging to You.'

    (29-32) The Supreme Lord said: 'When someone is merciful, causes no harm, is tolerant towards all embodied beings, is firmly anchored in the truth and an irreproachable soul; when someone is equal-minded, always acting for the better, of an intelligence that is not disturbed by material desires, is of restraint, is soft-natured, pure-hearted, non-possessive, not worldly, eating little and peaceful; when someone is steady, has Me for his shelter, is thoughtful, vigilant, a profound soul, is keeping respect, has conquered the shath-guna [the different forms of material misery], offers respect and invigorates; when someone is friendly, compassionate and learned and thus knows the qualities and shortcomings as taught by Me, is such a person, even when he gives up his own religious preferences [see also B.G. 18: 66] in his worship of all that belongs to Me, the best of the truthful ones [see also 5.18: 12, B.G. 12: 13-20]. (33) They who, whether they know it or not as to who I am and how I am, worship Me with unalloyed devotion, are by Me considered the best devotees. (34-41) Seeing, touching and worshiping My appearance in this world My devotees render personal service and offer prayers of glorification and obeisance, to which they regularly sing about My qualities and activities. In hearing the topics about Me they always with faith meditate upon Me, o Uddhava, and offer as servants in defense of the Soul all that they acquire. Discussing My birth and activities they take great delight in engaging with musical instruments and songs and dance, organizing to the order of the moon [at sundays or lunar phases] meetings and festivals in My [God's] houses. Sacrificing at all celebrations and annual festivities as mentioned in the vedic literatures and their tantras, they observe vows and are of initiation in relation to Me. With the installation of My deity they are faithfully attached and endeavor for themselves as well as for others in working for flower gardens, orchards, playgrounds, cities and temples. Straightforward as servants they serve for My sake in thoroughly cleaning and dusting the house [the temple], washing with water [and cow-dung, see also 10.6: 20*], sprinkling scented water and making mandalas. Modestly without pride, not advertising one's devotional service and not reserving for oneself the light of the lamps presented to Me, one should offer Me the thing most dear to oneself or anything else that is most desired in the material world. With such offering one qualifies for immortality.

    (42) The sun, the fire, the brahmins, the cows, the Vaishnavas, the sky, the wind, the water, the earth, the soul and all living beings, My dearest, all constitute a medium for My worship. (43-45) In the sun one can find Me by selected verses [like the Gâyatrî], with the help of worship and with obeisances [like with the Sûrya-namskar]. In fire one finds Me with offerings of ghee. One can find Me as the best among the learned when one worships Me by being hospitable to them. In the cows, My dear, you reach Me by means of offerings of grass and such. In the Vaishnava one finds Me by honoring him with loving friendship. I am found in the heart by being fixed in meditation on one's inner nature. In the air one finds Me by considering Me the life giving principle [represented in the prâna, by means of prânâyâma see B.G. 4: 29]. In water one can find Me using articles of worship that deal with water [see B.G. 9: 26]. In the earth [one finds Me] by offering food grains, applying sacred mantras from the heart [see e.g. Prasâda Sevâya and Bhoga-ârati]. And within the embodied self one can find Me as the knower of the field [see paramâtmâ and B.G. 13: 3] by worshiping Me with a balanced mind [see niyama]. (46) Devoutly absorbed in Me thus meditating these different ways one must be of worship for My transcendental form that is equipped with the conchshell, the disc, the club and the lotus flower [see picture]. (47) Thus fully fixed upon Me being of worship with the desired and good works, one obtains by the fine quality of the service thus delivered durable bhakti and the remembrance of Me [see also B.G. 5: 29].

    (48) O Uddhava, generally speaking there are, apart from the bhakti-yoga that is realized through the association with devotees, no means that actually work, because I am the true path of life for the ones of virtue [see also 4.31: 12]. (49) Thus o child of the Yadus, I will speak to you, who are willing to listen, even about the most confidential highest secret [of intimate association with Me], since you are My servant, well-wisher and friend.