by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words
The Bhagavad-gita Verse 18.65, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 18.65 from the chapter 18 called “Moksha-yoga (the Yoga of Liberation)”
Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 18.65:
मन्-मना भव मद्-भक्तो मद्-याजी मां नमस्कुरु ।
माम् एवैष्यसि सत्यं ते प्रतिजाने प्रियोऽसि मे ॥ ६५ ॥
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṃ namaskuru |
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṃ te pratijāne priyo'si me || 65 ||
mat-manāḥ–offer your mind to Me; bhava–become; mat-bhaktaḥ–My devotee (engage in hearing and chanting about My name, form, etc.); mat-yājī–My worshipper; mām–to Me; namaskuru–offer your obeisances; mām–Me; evaiṣyasi–you shall attain; satyam–truthfully; te–to you; pratijāne–I promise; priyaḥ–dear; asi–are; me–to Me.
Absorb your consciousness in Me; become My devotee by dedi-cating yourself to such practices as hearing about and glorifying My names, forms, qualities and pastimes; worship Me; and offer obeisances to Me. Thus, you will certainly attain Me. This truth I swear to you because you are most dear to Me.
Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā
“Man-manā bhava means that, becoming My exclusive devotee, you should meditate on Me. Do not become a jñānī or yogī and contemplate Me as they do.” Alternatively, man-manā bhava means, “You should become like that person who has offered his mind to Me, Śyāmasundara, who am showering upon you a sweet, merciful glance from My most beautiful moon-like face, which is adorned with exquisite arched eyebrows and soft curly hair. Mad-bhaktaḥ means to offer your senses to Me. In other words, worship Me by engaging all your senses in service to Me; hear and chant My glories, see My deity form, cleanse and decorate My temple, collect flowers and make garlands, decorate Me with ornaments, offer Me an umbrella, fan Me with a yak-tail whisk and perform other services. Mad-yājī means to worship Me, offering Me articles such as fragrances, flowers, incense, a ghee lamp and foodstuffs. Māṃ namaskuru means to fall to the ground and offer obeisance with either eight or five limbs of your body. Mām evaiṣyasi means you will surely achieve Me by performing the four activities of thinking, serving, worshipping and offering obeisances, or even by performing just one of them. Offer Me your mind and all your senses, such as your ear and tongue, and in return I will give Myself to you. This is the truth; do not doubt it.”
According to the Amara-koṣa, the words satya (truth), śapatha (vow) and tathya (fact) are synonymous. Arjuna may say, “The people of Mathurā take vows at every step, but in fact they are unable to maintain them, so how can I have faith in the vow of You, who are the Lord of Mathurā?” Śrī Bhagavān responds, “Although what you say is true, I am making this promise because you are very dear to Me. A person does not deceive those who are dear to him.”
Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti
Man-manā bhava means ‘to absorb one’s mind exclusively in Kṛṣṇa’. Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself has accepted the gopīs as the epitome of man-manā bhava, and He expresses this to Uddhava (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.46.4–6):
tā man-manaskā mat-prāṇā mad-arthe tyakta-daihikāḥ
mām eva dayitaṃ preṣṭham ātmānaṃ manasā gatāḥ
ye tyakta-loka-dharmāś ca mad-arthe tān bibharmy aham
mayi tāḥ preyasāṃ preṣṭhe dūra-sthe gokula-striyaḥ
smarantyo’ṅga vimuhyanti virahautkaṇṭhya-vihvalāḥ
dhārayanty ati-kṛcchreṇa prāyaḥ prāṇān kathañcana
pratyāgamana-sandeśair ballavyo me mad-ātmikāḥ
Dear Uddhava, the minds of the gopīs are always absorbed in Me. I am their very life and their all-in-all. It is for My sake alone that they have relinquished everything, including their homes, husbands, sons, relatives, shyness and religious principles. They constantly remain absorbed in thoughts of Me alone. Because they have faith in My statement, ‘I will come,’ they are maintaining their lives somehow or other with great difficulty and are waiting for Me.
This description of the gopīs anxiety in their separation from Kṛṣṇa is the highest example of man-manā bhava. Now hear about the gopīs’ absorption in Kṛṣṇa while they are in pūrva-rāga, that state prior to meeting with Him.
Once, a newly married gopī came to live in Nandagāon. This gopī had heard of Kṛṣṇa’s name and His supremely attractive and wonderful activities, yet she had never had the good fortune to see Him directly. Every day, Kṛṣṇa sounded His flute as He entered the forest to tend the cows with His friends. Upon hearing that sound, all the residents of Vraja would gather on the royal path, eager to see the unparalleled sweetness of His beauty. Some stood on the balconies and some climbed trees. Some stood near the path and some peeped through windows. That newly-married gopī also longed to go there and see Kṛṣṇa, but her mother-in-law forbade her, saying, “A black snake out there will bite you; you should not go.”
The newly-wedded bride contended this. “Your daughter has gone out, so why do you forbid me?” But her mother-in-law would not relent.
The young gopī neglected this instruction and sneaked out to behind a grove beside the royal path, which allowed her to see Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Understanding her mind, Kṛṣṇa slightly twisted the tail of a calf, who took off, running and jumping over to that new gopī, coming to a stop just near her. Kṛṣṇa chased after the calf and finally arrived at that very spot. For a mere moment He stood there in His beautiful threefold-bending form, touched the chin of that gopī with His flute and then ran off to rejoin His friends. The new gopī, now totally absorbed in the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa’s beautiful form, lost her external consciousness and stood motionless as Kṛṣṇa entered the forest.
A considerable amount of time passed. When she did not return home, her mother-in-law came searching for her. Upon finding her in that condition, she shook that gopī and cried, “What I feared has happened! You have been bitten by that black snake.”
She brought the gopī back to the house and ordered her to extract butter from yogurt kept in a clay pot. The bride still had not regained her external consciousness. Mistaking a pot full of mustard seeds for yogurt, she began to churn. Sometimes she would churn the mustard seeds and sometimes not, so sometimes a harsh sound came from her churning and sometimes no sound. Noticing this, her mother-in-law ordered her to bring water from the well instead. She placed three pots on the gopī’s head, one on top of the other. She then placed a rope in one hand and a little baby to carry on her hip in the other arm. She then sent her to fetch water from the well.
The bride went to the well and prepared the rope to haul water, but she was not in her natural state of mind and proceeded to tie the rope around the baby’s neck. The other gopīs at the well stopped her, crying, “Alas, alas! What has happened to her? It seems that she is possessed by a ghost!” But some gopīs knew the reality of the situation. “No, no,” they said, “it is not a ghost that has possessed her but the son of Nanda Mahārāja.”
This is an example of man-manā bhava.
The instruction mad-bhakto bhava (become My devotee) is for those who cannot become absorbed in Kṛṣṇa as the gopīs are. Mad-bhakto bhava means to offer oneself fully unto the lotus feet of Bhagavān. How can a bhakta render service continuously?
śravaṇaṃ kīrtanaṃ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṃ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṃ vandanaṃ dāsyaṃ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
iti puṃsārpitā viṣṇau bhaktiś cen nava-lakṣaṇā
kriyeta bhagavaty addhā tan manye’dhītam uttama
Prahlāda Mahārāja said, “O my dear father, bhakti to Śrī Viṣṇu is performed in nine ways: hearing and chanting about Him, remem-bering His name, form, qualities, pastimes, etc., rendering service to His lotus feet, worshipping Him, praying to Him, serving Him, making friendship with Him and surrendering one’s self to Him. If these nine types of bhakti are performed to Bhagavān in a mood of surrender, then I consider that to be the best of all education.”
Mahārāja Ambarīṣa is a shining example of complete surrender.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (9.4.18–20) describes how he performed bhakti to Kṛṣṇa.
sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṃsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane
karau harer mandira-mārjanādiṣu śrutiṃ cakārācyuta-sat-kathodaye
mukunda-liṅgālaya-darśane dṛśau tad-bhṛtya-gātra-sparśe’ṅga-saṅgamam
ghrāṇaṃ ca tat-pāda-saroja-saurabhe śrīmat-tulasyā rasanāṃ tad-arpite
pādau hareḥ kṣetra-padānusarpaṇe śiro hṛsīkeśa-padābhivandane
kāmaṃ ca dāsye na tu kāma-kāmyayā yathottama-śloka-janāśrayā ratiḥ
He fixed his mind on the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra, his speech in glorifying the qualities of Bhagavān, his hands in cleansing the temple of Śrī Hari and his ears in hearing the auspicious pastimes of Bhagavān Acyuta. He engaged his eyes in seeing the deity and temples of Mukunda, his body and limbs in touching the bodies of His devotees, his nose in smelling the transcendental fragrance of Tulasī offered at His feet, and his tongue in honouring the prasāda that had been offered to Bhagavān. He utilized his feet for walking to the holy abodes of Bhagavān, and his head in offering obeisances at His lotus feet. He offered all paraphernalia such as garlands and sandalwood in the service of Bhagavān. He did all this, not to acquire material enjoyment, but to attain pure love for Bhagavān, which resides in His devotees only. Glorification of them serves to purify everyone.
Bilvamaṅgala is an example of such a devotee. He was born in a village on the bank of the Kṛṣṇā-veṇṇā River in South India. He was a great scholar of the Vedas and Vedānta, but he was overly attached to a prostitute named Cintāmaṇi. One evening it was raining heavily, but still, he was so obsessed with desire to meet Cintāmaṇi that he set out for her residence, not caring for the bad weather. On the way, he had to cross a river, which on that terrifying night was flooded. In fact, it looked like the very form of death. There were no means to cross that river, so in desperation Bilvamaṅgala took the aid of a floating corpse. Upon reaching Cintāmaṇi’s house, he saw that her gate was closed. Bilvamaṅgala saw something hanging from her boundary wall and used it to scale the wall‚ thinking it was a rope, but in fact it was a snake. While climbing down the other side of the wall, however, he slipped and fell to the ground, making a loud crash and losing consciousness. Cintāmaṇi and her friends ran out to see what had happened. Flashes of lightning illuminated the scene and enabled her to recognize Bilvamaṅgala. At that point she understood everything. Reproaching herself, Cintāmaṇi chastized Bilvamaṅgala severely. “If only you were as attached to the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa as you are to me, you would certainly become a supremely blessed man.”
As Bilvamaṅgala regained consciousness, he heard Cintāmaṇi’s words, which pierced his heart. He immediately saw the folly of his activities and decided to end his sinful ways immediately and journey on foot to Vṛndāvana. On the way, he became thirsty, and when he saw a young woman hauling water from a well, he went over to her. That woman’s beauty was so exquisite that he became attracted and even followed her to her home.
The woman’s husband noted Bilvamaṅgala’s dress and demeanor and took him to be a saint. He showed him due respect, inviting him into his home and offering him a seat. Bilvamaṅgala then requested the man to call his wife. When she entered the room, Bilvamaṅgala asked her for her two hairpins. He took them and immediately pierced both his eyes. “These eyes have become the cause of my degraded, wretched condition!” he lamented grievously. “By them, I become attracted by their sense objects–beautiful women. Where there is no cause there can be no effect!” Now blind, he again started for Vṛndāvana, blood flowing profusely from his eyes. But his heart had become purified. After only walking a short distance, a boy came to him, and in a very sweet voice asked, “O Bābā, where are you going?”
“I am going to Vṛndāvana,” Bilvamaṅgala replied.
The boy said, “I am also going to Vṛndāvana. Please grasp hold of My walking stick.” That boy was none other than Muralī-manohara Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, He who captivates the mind by playing His muralī flute.
Mad-yājī means ‘to perform worship of Me’ (arcana). The steady practice of arcana is on a slightly lower level than that of mad-bhakto. Śrī Bhagavān therefore says, “If you cannot be a devotee (mad-bhakto) like Bilvamaṅgala, then perform worship of Me.” What should the determination of one who performs arcana to Śrī Bhagavān be like? To illustrate this, I will relate a story from our own experience that took place here in Mathurā, India.
There used to be a bābā (saintly person) in Mathurā who worshipped his śālagrāma-śilā with steadfast faith. He did not have complete knowledge of the various limbs of arcana (worship), but whatever worship he performed, he did with great faith and devotion. He had taken a vow to bathe in Yamunā every day during the early morning period of brahma-muhūrta, and to worship his śālagrāma with Yamunā water only. Once, on the Amāvasyā (dark-moon day) in the month of Māgha, the cold winter month from mid-January to mid-February, it rained the entire night and a strong chilly wind blew. It was pitch-dark and he had no idea of the time because no stars were visible in the sky. He had woken long before the brahma-muhūrta hour and set out to take his bath. Yamunā’s waters were as cold as ice and he was shivering due to the extreme chilliness, but he still took bath just to maintain his vow. He then started back for his home, carrying the Yamunā water for his worship. His return home was arduous, with the dense darkness, heavy rain and the weak condition of his shivering body, but he was anxious to worship his deity. Suddenly, he saw somebody coming toward him carrying a lantern. It was a young boy holding a blanket over His head to shield Himself from the rain. He came up to the bābā and asked, “Bābā, where are you going?” The man told Him where he lived and the boy said, “I am also going that way. Come with Me and I will take you to your house.”
He proceeded to walk with that boy and reached his house very quickly. Just as he was about to enter, he thought, “Let me ask this boy His name.” But what a wonder! Although the bābā looked everywhere he was unable to see that boy, not even a trace of Him. Standing there like a stone, he lamented, “Alas! That chaliyā (transcendental cheater) Himself came to protect my vow, and upon cheating me, He has gone away.”
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.3.29) illustrates the meaning of māṃ namaskuru with Yamarāja’s instructions to the Yamadūtas:
O Yamadūtas, bring me only those sinful people whose tongues do not chant the name of Kṛṣṇa, whose minds do not remember the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, and whose heads have not bowed even once before Śrī Kṛṣṇa, because they have never performed a single act of bhakti.
“Daśāśvamedhi punar eti janma kṛṣṇa-praṇāmī na punar bhavāya–a person who performs ten aśvamedha-yajñas has to take birth again, but those who offer obeisances to Kṛṣṇa even once never take birth again.” “Sakṛt praṇāmī kṛṣṇasya mātuḥ stanyaṃ piben nahi–one who bows down to Kṛṣṇa does not have to drink a mother’s breast-milk again.” While explaining the word namaḥ in Bhakti-sandarbha (169), Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī writes vandanaṃ namaskāram. “Akrūra attained bhakti to Kṛṣṇa by paying obeisances.”
The Skanda Purāṇa describes the glory of paying obeisances in the following way:
Even if a person deceitfully bows down to Śrī Viṣṇu, who carries the bow called śārṅga in His hand, his sins accumulated from one hundred lives are immediately destroyed.