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 “Pancama-yama-sadhana (Aparahna-kaliya-bhajana–krishna-asakti)” representing from three-and-a-half praharas of the day until dusk: approximately 3.30 p.m.–6.00 p.m.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.6.46) describes the mood of a sādhaka who has attained attachment for rādhā-dāsya:

उच्छिष्ट-भोजिनो दासास् तव मायां जयेम हि

ucchiṣṭa-bhojino dāsās tava māyāṃ jayema hi

O Prabhu, we decorate ourselves with the garlands, sandalwood paste, cloth and ornaments worn by You. Since we are Your servants who subsist on Your remnants, we will certainly conquer Your illusory energ y (māyā). (Therefore, Prabhu, we are not afraid of Your māyā ; we are only afraid of being separated from You.)

तोमार प्रसाद-माला-गन्ध-अलङ्कार व्
अस्त्रादि परिया दिन याय त आमार

tomāra prasāda-mālā-gandha-alaṅkāra v
astrādi pariyā dina yāya ta āmāra

तोमार उच्छिष्ट-भोजी-दास-परिचये
तव माया जय करि अनासक्त ह’ये

tomāra ucchiṣṭa-bhojī-dāsa-paricaye
tava māyā jaya kari anāsakta ha’ye

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

Persons who are not inclined to serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa perform various activities, such as resting, sitting, travelling about, staying in one place and running after recreation, with the purpose of their own sense enjoyment. However, if the same activities are connected to the Supreme Lord, the living entity becomes eternally blessed. If the living entity is eager for the service of honouring the remnants enjoyed by Śrī Kṛṣṇa, such as garlands, fragrant oils, clothes and ornaments, he will not be ensnared by the bondage of material existence. Here Śrī Uddhava is saying to the Supreme Lord, “By obtaining Your remnants, the living entity becomes freed from the slavery of the illusory energ y.”

Hari-bhakti-vilāsa states that a person who doubts the potency of items offered to Śrī Viṣṇu will reside in hell for eternity. One should not disrespect mahā-prasāda. Even mahā-prasāda that has fallen from the mouth of a dog is supremely pure and acceptable even for a brāhmaṇa. Prasāda, or items offered to ancient deities or deities established by mahāpuruṣas, is extremely pure and worthy of acceptance. But it is not proper to distribute the prasāda of deities who have been established here and there by persons who indulge in sense enjoyment.

This is confirmed in the Śrī Nārada-pañcarātra:

श्रुति-स्मृति-पुराणादि-पञ्चरात्र-विधिं विना
ऐकान्तिकी हरेर् भक्तिर् उत्पातायैव कल्पते

śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-pañcarātra-vidhiṃ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyaiva kalpate

Even one who practises one-pointed devotion to Śrī Hari will only create a disturbance if he abandons the rules of Śruti, Smṛti, the Purāṇas and the Nārada-pañcarātra.

The remnants of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are called mahā-prasāda. When a pure devotee honours this mahā-prasāda, his remnants are called mahā-mahā-prasāda. Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī says in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Antya-līlā 16.60):

भक्त-पद-धूलि आर भक्त-पद-जल
भक्त-भुक्त-अवशेष,—एइ तिन महाबल

bhakta-pada-dhūli āra bhakta-pada-jala
bhakta-bhukta-avaśeṣa,—ei tina mahābala

The foot-dust of a devotee, the water that has washed his feet and the remnants of food left by him are three very powerful items.

By serving these three items, kṛṣṇa-prema-bhakti will appear. They are extremely powerful.

It is improper for a sādhaka-bhakta to imitate the behaviour of pure devotees. Once, my gurudeva, then Śrī Vinoda-bihārī Brahmacārī, and his godbrother Śrī Narahari Prabhu went to Śrī Vaṃśīdāsa Bābājī’s bhajana-kuṭī to take his darśana. Bābājī had offered tea and was distributing it. Vinoda-bihārī and Narahari Prabhu also received some tea prasāda. Vinoda-bihārī paid his respects to it, put it aside and did not take it. When Narahari Prabhu asked him why, Śrī Vinoda-bihārī answered philosophically, “An object which is taken by a mahā-bhāgavata can still be unsuitable for us. Mahādeva drank a deadly poison. He is capable of doing that, but if an ordinary person drinks poison, he is sure to die. For a sādhaka it is only proper to follow the rules of the bhakti-śāstras.”

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