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

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 34, 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 34 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.

Qualification for chanting the holy name is given in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.20.27–28):

जात-श्रद्धो मत्-कथासु निर्विण्णः सर्व-कर्मषु
वेद दुःखात्मकान् कामान् परित्यागे’प्य् अनीश्वरः
ततो भजेत मां प्रीतः श्रद्धालुर् दृढ-निश्चयः
जुषमाणश् च तान् कामान् दुःखोदर्कांश् च गर्हयन्

jāta-śraddho mat-kathāsu nirviṇṇaḥ sarva-karmaṣu
veda duḥkhātmakān kāmān parityāge’py anīśvaraḥ
tato bhajeta māṃ prītaḥ śraddhālur dṛḍha-niścayaḥ
juṣamāṇaś ca tān kāmān duḥkhodarkāṃś ca garhayan

Although a person’s faith in hearing narrations about Me has been awakened, he may still find himself unable to give up sense enjoyment and the desire for it, in spite of knowing it to be the cause of misery. If this is the case, he should sincerely condemn his inability to give it up, and continue to worship Me with firm faith, conviction and love.

कृष्ण-कथा श्रद्धा-लाभ त्यजे कर्मासक्ति
दुःखात्मक काम-त्यागे तबु नहे शक्ति

kṛṣṇa-kathā śraddhā-lābha tyaje karmāsakti
duḥkhātmaka kāma-tyāge tabu nahe śakti

काम-सेवा करे ताहा करिया गर्हण
सुदृढ-भजने कामे करे विध्वंसन

kāma-sevā kare tāhā kariyā garhaṇa
sudṛḍha-bhajane kāme kare vidhvaṃsana

पुण्यमय काम-मात्र उद्दिष्ट एथाय
पाप-कामे श्रद्ध-धानेर आदर ना हय

puṇyamaya kāma-mātra uddiṣṭa ethāya
pāpa-kāme śraddha-dhānera ādara nā haya

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

By the influence of association with devotees (sat-saṅga), a person develops a taste for hearing hari-kathā. At that time, he will lose interest in all other activities, and with firm faith he will continuously chant the name of Śrī Bhagavān. However, if someone is unable to give up sense enjoyment or the desire for it due to his previous habits, in his heart he should deeply lament his continued attachment to it.

Here, in these two verses (Text 34), the intrinsic nature of bhakti is described by mentioning the first symptoms of the qualification for bhakti. Sarva-karmasu means that all material, Vedic activities and the fruit of those activities result in sadness, being distressed by a miserable mind. Kāmān means realising the miseries that result from the desires arising from associating with the opposite sex. If a person is unable to renounce these desires, he should, from the beginning, have the firm conviction: “If my attachment to household life is destroyed or if it increases, if my bhajana is full of millions of obstacles or if I go to hell because of offences, I will accept it all; but I will never give up devotion, even if Brahmā himself tells me to.” A person who performs bhajana with such staunch faith will certainly be successful. Even if desires causing misery arise from association with wife, children, etc., a person should condemn those desires and continue fulfilling his worldly responsibilities. However, he should never give up bhakti. The desire for enjoyment will gradually diminish by hearing, chanting and so forth, and one will ultimately attain bhakti.

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