Bhajana-Rahasya

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

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 10, 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 10 belonging to the chapter “Shashtha-yama-sadhana (Sayam-kaliya-bhajana–bhava)” representing six dandas after dusk: approximately 6.00 p.m.–8.30 p.m.

Apart from devotees, who desire to love Kṛṣṇa, everyone else’s hearts are impure and stone-like due to offences.

According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.3.24), the emotions exhibited by such people are artificial:

तद् अश्म-सारं हृदयं बतेदं यद् गृह्यमानैर् हरि-नाम-धेयैः
न विक्रियेताथ यदा विकारो नेत्रे जलं गात्र-रुहेषु हर्षः

tad aśma-sāraṃ hṛdayaṃ batedaṃ yad gṛhyamānair hari-nāma-dheyaiḥ
na vikriyetātha yadā vikāro netre jalaṃ gātra-ruheṣu harṣaḥ

When a sādhaka performs harināma-saṅkīrtana, the hairs of his body stand on end and tears of joy begin to f low from his eyes. But the heart of one in whom such sāttvika-bhāva transformations do not arise, is actually not a heart, but a hard thunderbolt.

हरिनाम-सङ्कीर्तने रोम-हर्ष हय
दैहिक विकार नेत्रे जल-धारा बय

harināma-saṅkīrtane roma-harṣa haya
daihika vikāra netre jala-dhārā baya

से समये नहे यार हृदय-विकार
धिक् तार हृदय कठिन वज्र-सार

se samaye nahe yāra hṛdaya-vikāra
dhik tāra hṛdaya kaṭhina vajra-sāra

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

If someone has been chanting the holy name for a long time but his heart is not melting, it is certain that he is a nāma-aparādhī. The holy name is omnipotent (sarva-śaktimān), but no immediate result takes place in a stone-like heart. Criticising sādhus or committing other such offences obstructs the desired transformation of the heart. If the obstruction is ordinary, the utterance of the holy name manifests as a semblance of the name (nāma-ābhāsa). If the obstruction is deep, however, then it manifests as nāma-aparādha. In other words, by offences committed at the lotus feet of a great personality (mahāpuruṣa), one’s heart becomes hard like iron, and it will not melt even if one performs śravaṇa, kīrtana and so on.

The external symptoms of a heart that is melted by harināma are tears, horripilation and so forth. However, such symptoms are also seen in one whose heart is full of distress. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says that occasionally tears, horripilation, etc. are observed in those whose hearts are naturally devious. Externally such people appear to be soft-hearted, but internally their hearts are actually hard stone. These symptoms can also be observed in those who believe they can acquire sāttvika-bhāvas by determined practice, even without sattva-ābhāsa (the semblance of sāttvika-bhāvas). Such emotions are never connected to bhakti.

One will definitely observe the nine symptoms of bhāva, such as forbearance (kṣānti) and not wasting time (avyartha-kālatva ), in a fortunate person whose heart has been transformed by the appearance of pure harināma on his tongue, which is always engaged in service (sevonmukha ). One should therefore understand that extraordinary forbearance and exceptional attachment to chanting the holy name are symptoms of a transformed heart. If an ordinary person, a so-called Vaiṣṇava who is actually envious, chants the ‘holy name’ (in other words, nāma-aparādha ) for a long time, his heart will not melt. He cannot perceive the sweetness of the holy name due to the offences in his heart. The nine symptoms of bhāva, beginning with kṣānti, may appear to be observed in a person whose heart is disturbed by aparādha, but his heart is actually hard like stone and he is worthy of reproach. However, if that person associates with devotees, he will gradually pass through anartha-nivṛtti and come to niṣṭhā, ruci and progress to the upper stages. Then, at the suitable time, the offences hardening his heart will be removed and his heart may melt. By receiving the mercy of Vaiṣṇavas and a pure niṣkiñcana, mahā-bhāgavata guru and practising spiritual life under their guidance, one will become free from the influence of aparādhas and anarthas. Finally, he will become fixed in vraja-bhāva, which is filled with rasa, and he will attain the supreme goal, prema.

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