Bhakti, Karma and Falldown part three “Fall and Protection”
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
In parts one and two, we described the conjunction of material and spiritual in Krishna’s pastimes; its relevance in a life of sadhana; and repentance in bhakti bhajan.
Devotion means lovingly serving Krishna for His pleasure. However, at the same time devotees also “enjoy” the basic sense objects. Yet devotees know that there is a thin line between deriving bliss from pure bhakti, and just enjoying without a Krishna connection.
Feeling somewhat helpless and a little fearful about the latter and staying forever in Maya, true devotees will repent their indulgence, and feel sorry about their material attachments and weak determination.
Praying to Krishna, they will cry out, “O Krishna! Because of my selfish enjoying spirit, I will fall into the dark well of material existence. Please help me!”
Now in part three, we will discuss how Bhagavan Sri Krishna personally arranges a devotee’s KARMA and FALLDOWN if it happens, and the astonishing effects of living and doing Krishna bhakti bhajan in Sridham Vrndavana.
Krishna Karma and Falldown
In the Bhagavat, the Shrutis pray, “O Krishna! When one realizes You, one no longer cares about one’s good and bad fortune arising from past pious and sinful acts (uttha-shubha –ashubha –guna –viguna), since it is You alone who control this good and bad fortune.
“Every day, a devotee will just keep hearing and singing about Your glories as received through the guru-parampara (gita –parampara). By doing this, You will personally liberate the devotee and bring one to the transcendental realm (tvam –apavarga –gatih).” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.87.40)
Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada comments: “Here the Shrutis explain how neophyte devotees, even though they may misbehave, will not suffer in this life or the next. Rather, they will attain success. Since a devotee becomes free from all karmic reactions by worshiping Krishna, the apparent good and bad events one experiences are not the result of one’s karma, but rather they are personally arranged by Krishna.
“Or sometimes these apparently auspicious and inauspicious material reactions may appear as the results of offences against Krishna’s devotees (vaishnava-aparadha). Krishna makes these experiences appear in such a way that the devotee seems to be suffering the reactions of one’s karma.
“However, the devotee ignores the apparent good and bad reactions of the seva one does only for Krishna’s pleasure. In other words, if someone praises a devotee, ‘O, you are so merciful, tolerant and generous’. Or if someone condemns a devotee saying, ‘You are greedy, hypocritical and attached to sense enjoyment’, the devotee is not overly concerned about it. At these times, the humble devotee does not pay much attention to the words of any person, high or low, praising or denouncing one.
“A devotee thinks, ‘If these people mistakenly see good qualities in me and express praise, let them do it. And if others see my real qualities of being attached to sense gratification and criticize me, then this is perfectly appropriate.’
“The Shrutis explain that no matter what happens, a devotee will day after day (anu-aham which means ahani -ahani) just keep hearing and singing about Krishna. Thus by the mighty current of Krishna nama-sankirtana, the devotee will quickly attain Krishna prema, the ultimate goal of liberation (apavarga-gatih)”
Even in Falldown, Krishna Protects
In the Bhagavata (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.33), the devatas pray to Sri Krishna, “O Madhava, sometimes Your devotees fall from the path of devotion (bhrashyanti –margat). But You always protect them and help them advance in bhakti.”
Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada comments:
“Devotees may sometimes veer from the divine way, but they do not fall like gyanis, yogis and other spiritualists. Even while fallen, devotees will remain firmly attached to Krishna’s lotus feet. Their falldown, as in the case of Bharata and Citraketu, results in increasing their love and attachment to Krishna.
“Devotees remain faithful to Krishna, thinking their fall was arranged by Krishna for their own benefit. Krishna promises in Gita (9.31), ‘My devotee will never perish!’ Remembering Krishna’s promise again and again, devotees gain conviction and conquer over all obstacles on the bhakti marga.”
Unique Fortune of Dhama Devotees
In his tika on (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.87.40), Sri Cakravartipada also highlights the special fortune of devotees living in Vrndavana practicing Krishna bhakti bhajan.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “In Gopala-tapani –Upanisad (Uttara v. 47-49), Bhagavan Sri Krishna says, ‘I am worshiped by devotees living in Mathura/Vrndavana (aham –pujaniyo – bhadra –krishna –nivasi). Even if the devotees living in Vraja Mandala do not properly follow the religious principles, still they become devoted to Me just by virtue of living there.
‘Even if Kali has them in his grip, they still get credit for living in Vrndavana. My devotee who lives in Vrndavana is just as dear to Me as Sri Lakshmidevi and My own self (shriya –abhiyukti –aham -bhakto -mama –priyah).’
Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s mercy ki jai! Vraja Dhama ki jai!
Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada continues, “This verse from Gopala-tapani Upansad implies that even if one is evil, immoral and sinful but lives in that Mathura.”
In part four, we will discuss Sri Krishna special mercy for His devotees and salvation through surrender.
Krishna krpa ki jai! Vrndavana vasa ki jai! Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
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