Bhajana-Rahasya

by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 18, 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 18 belonging to the chapter “Dvitiya-yama-sadhana (Pratah-kaliya-bhajana)” representing the first six dandas of the morning: approximately 6.00 a.m.–8.30 a.m.

The six kinds of association that nourish bhakti are described in the fourth verse of Śrī Upadeśāmṛta:

ददाति प्रतिगृह्णाति गुह्यम् आख्याति पृच्छति
भुङ्क्ते भोजयते चैव षड्-विधं प्रीति-लक्षणम्

dadāti pratigṛhṇāti guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva ṣaḍ-vidhaṃ prīti-lakṣaṇam

Offering pure devotees items in accordance with their requirements and accepting the prasāda, remnant items, given by them; revealing to devotees one’s confidential realisations concerning bhajana and inquiring from them about their confidential realisations; eating with great love the prasāda given by devotees and lovingly feeding them prasāda–these are the six kinds of association that symptomise love and affection.

आदान प्रदान प्रीते, गूढ आलापन
आहार भोजन छय सङ्गेर लक्षण

ādāna pradāna prīte, gūḍha ālāpana
āhāra bhojana chaya saṅgera lakṣaṇa

साधुर सहित सङ्गे भक्ति-वृद्धि हय
अभक्त असत्-सङ्गे भक्ति हय क्षय

sādhura sahita saṅge bhakti-vṛddhi haya
abhakta asat-saṅge bhakti haya kṣaya

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

This Text describes the visible symptoms of the affection that nourishes devotion, or in other words, affection for pure devotees. Bhakti manifests by associating with Śrī Bhagavān’s devotees, but one should be careful to associate only with pure devotees. One should never keep the company of and reciprocate with those who are gross sense enjoyers, those who desire liberation or those who want to enjoy the fruits of their actions. Bhakti will be destroyed by the fault of associating with them. One should also not hear anything from them about the confidential aspects of bhakti, and one should not accept food that has been touched by them.

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Antya-līlā 6.278) confirms this:

विषयीर अन्न खाइले मलिन हय मन
मलिन मन हैले, नहे कृष्णेर स्मरण

viṣayīra anna khāile malina haya mana
malina mana haile, nahe kṛṣṇera smaraṇa

[Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said:] When one eats food offered by a materialistic man, one’s mind becomes contaminated, and when the mind is contaminated, one is unable to think of Kṛṣṇa properly. *

On the other hand, loving exchanges with devotees who are likeminded, more advanced than oneself and affectionate to oneself (svajātīya-snigdhāśaya ) enhance one’s devotion.

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