by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words
The Bhajana-rahasya Text 21, English translation, including commentary (vritti). The Bhajana-rahasya is a compilation of verses describing the mercy of the eight pairs of names (Yugala-nama) of the Maha-mantra. This is text 21 belonging to the chapter “Prathama-yama-sadhana (Nishanta-bhajana–shraddha)” representing the last six dandas of the night: approximately 3.30 a.m.–6.00 a.m.
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.29.49, last line) it is stated:
sā vidyā tan-matir yayā
Knowledge is that by which one’s attention is concentrated upon the Supreme Lord.
ये शक्तिते कृष्णे करे उद्भावन
विद्या-नामे सेइ करे अविद्या खण्डन
ye śaktite kṛṣṇe kare udbhāvana
vidyā-nāme sei kare avidyā khaṇḍana
कृष्ण-नाम सेइ विद्या-वधूर जीवन
कृष्ण-पाद-पद्मे ये करये स्थिर मन
kṛṣṇa-nāma sei vidyā-vadhūra jīvana
kṛṣṇa-pāda-padme ye karaye sthira mana
Śrī Bhagavān has only one potency (śakti), which has two functions: knowledge (vidyā) and ignorance (avidyā). Yogamāyā is knowledge and Mahāmāyā is ignorance. Mahāmāyā is responsible for the creation of the material world, and she covers the living entity’s eternal identity and inherent qualities.
The word vidyā is derived from the verbal root vid, ‘to know’ or ‘to understand’. In other words, vidyā is that through which one can know service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. When pure bhakti arises in the heart of the sādhaka by his continuous performance of hearing and chanting, Bhakti-devī removes his ignorance and dispels all desires other than to attain the service of Śrī Bhagavān. By vidyā-vṛtti, the function of knowledge, she destroys the jīva’s coverings in the form of his gross and subtle bodies and simultaneously manifests his pure spiritual body according to his inherent nature (svarūpa). The life of this transcendental knowledge (vidyā), which is compared to a wife, is the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. This vidyā fixes a person’s mind at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
प्रभु कहे,—“कौन् विद्या विद्या-मध्ये सार?”
राय कहे,—“कृष्ण-भक्ति-बिना विद्या नाहि आर”
prabhu kahe,—“kaun vidyā vidyā-madhye sāra?”
rāya kahe,—“kṛṣṇa-bhakti-binā vidyā nāhi āra”
Śrīman Mahāprabhu asked, “Of all types of knowledge, which is the most important?” Rāya Rāmānanda replied, “Kṛṣṇa-bhakti is the essence of all knowledge. Apart from this there is no other type of knowledge.”