Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 11 Chapter 11
The Symptoms of Conditioned and Liberated Living Entities
baddho mukta iti vyākhyā
guṇato me na vastutaḥ
na me mokṣo na bandhanam
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; baddhaḥ — in bondage; muktaḥ — liberated; iti — thus; vyākhyā — the explanation of the living entity; guṇataḥ — due to the modes of material nature; me — which are My potency; na — not; vastutaḥ — in reality; guṇasya — of the modes of material nature; māyā — My illusory energy; mūlatvāt — because of being the cause; na — not; me — of Me; mokṣaḥ — liberation; na — nor; bandhanam — bondage.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Uddhava, due to the influence of the material modes of nature, which are under My control, the living entity is sometimes designated as conditioned and sometimes as liberated. In fact, however, the soul is never really bound up or liberated, and since I am the Supreme Lord of māyā, which is the cause of the modes of nature, I also am never to be considered liberated or in bondage.
śoka-mohau sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ
dehāpattiś ca māyayā
svapno yathātmanaḥ khyātiḥ
saṁsṛtir na tu vāstavī
śoka — lamentation; mohau — and illusion; sukham — happiness; duḥkham — distress; deha-āpattiḥ — accepting a material body; ca — also; māyayā — by the influence of māyā; svapnaḥ — a dream; yathā — just as; ātmanaḥ — of the intelligence; khyātiḥ — merely an idea; saṁsṛtiḥ — material existence; na — is not; tu — indeed; vāstavī — real.
Just as a dream is merely a creation of one’s intelligence but has no actual substance, similarly, material lamentation, illusion, happiness, distress and the acceptance of the material body under the influence of māyā are all creations of My illusory energy. In other words, material existence has no essential reality.
vidyāvidye mama tanū
viddhy uddhava śarīriṇām
māyayā me vinirmite
vidyā — knowledge; avidye — and ignorance; mama — My; tanū — manifested energies; viddhi — please understand; uddhava — O Uddhava; śarīriṇām — of the embodied living entities; mokṣa — liberation; bandha — bondage; karī — causing; ādye — original, eternal; māyayā — by the potency; me — My; vinirmite — produced.
O Uddhava, both knowledge and ignorance, being products of māyā, are expansions of My potency. Both knowledge and ignorance are beginningless and perpetually award liberation and bondage to embodied living beings.
vidyayā ca tathetaraḥ
ekasya — of the one; eva — certainly; mama — My; aṁśasya — part and parcel; jīvasya — of the living entity; eva — certainly; mahā-mate — O most intelligent one; bandhaḥ — bondage; asya — of him; avidyayā — by ignorance; anādiḥ — beginningless; vidyayā — by knowledge; ca — and; tathā — similarly; itaraḥ — the opposite of bondage, liberation.
O most intelligent Uddhava, the living entity, called jīva, is part and parcel of Me, but due to ignorance he has been suffering in material bondage since time immemorial. By knowledge, however, he can be liberated.
atha baddhasya muktasya
vailakṣaṇyaṁ vadāmi te
atha — thus; baddhasya — of the conditioned soul; muktasya — of the liberated Personality of Godhead; vailakṣaṇyam — different characteristics; vadāmi — I will now speak; te — unto you; viruddha — opposing; dharmiṇoḥ — whose two natures; tāta — My dear Uddhava; sthitayoḥ — of the two who are situated; eka-dharmiṇi — in the one body which manifests their different characteristics.
Thus, My dear Uddhava, in the same material body we find opposing characteristics, such as great happiness and misery. That is because both the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is eternally liberated, as well as the conditioned soul are within the body. I shall now speak to you about their different characteristics.
suparṇāv etau sadṛśau sakhāyau
yadṛcchayaitau kṛta-nīḍau ca vṛkṣe
ekas tayoḥ khādati pippalānnam
anyo niranno ’pi balena bhūyān
suparṇau — two birds; etau — these; sadṛśau — similar; sakhāyau — friends; yadṛcchayā — by chance; etau — these two; kṛta — made; nīḍau — a nest; ca — and; vṛkṣe — in a tree; ekaḥ — one; tayoḥ — of the two; khādati — is eating; pippala — of the tree; annam — the fruits; anyaḥ — the other; nirannaḥ — not eating; api — although; balena — by strength; bhūyān — He is superior.
By chance, two birds have made a nest together in the same tree. The two birds are friends and are of a similar nature. One of them, however, is eating the fruits of the tree, whereas the other, who does not eat the fruits, is in a superior position due to His potency.
ātmānam anyaṁ ca sa veda vidvān
apippalādo na tu pippalādaḥ
yo ’vidyayā yuk sa tu nitya-baddho
vidyā-mayo yaḥ sa tu nitya-muktaḥ
ātmānam — Himself; anyam — the other; ca — also; saḥ — He; veda — knows; vidvān — being omniscient; apippala-adaḥ — not eating the fruits of the tree; na — not; tu — but; pippala-adaḥ — the one who is eating the fruits of the tree; yaḥ — who; avidyayā — with ignorance; yuk — filled; saḥ — he; tu — indeed; nitya — eternally; baddhaḥ — conditioned; vidyā-mayaḥ — full of perfect knowledge; yaḥ — who; saḥ — he; tu — indeed; nitya — eternally; muktaḥ — liberated.
The bird who does not eat the fruits of the tree is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who by His omniscience perfectly understands His own position and that of the conditioned living entity, represented by the eating bird. That living entity, on the other hand, does not understand himself or the Lord. He is covered by ignorance and is thus called eternally conditioned, whereas the Personality of Godhead, being full of perfect knowledge, is eternally liberated.
deha-stho ’pi na deha-stho
vidvān svapnād yathotthitaḥ
adeha-stho ’pi deha-sthaḥ
kumatiḥ svapna-dṛg yathā
deha — in the material body; sthaḥ — situated; api — although; na — not; deha — in the body; sthaḥ — situated; vidvān — an enlightened person; svapnāt — from a dream; yathā — just as; utthitaḥ — having risen; adeha — not in the body; sthaḥ — situated; api — although; deha — in the body; sthaḥ — situated; ku-matiḥ — a foolish person; svapna — a dream; dṛk — seeing; yathā — just as.
One who is enlightened in self-realization, although living within the material body, sees himself as transcendental to the body, just as one who has arisen from a dream gives up identification with the dream body. A foolish person, however, although not identical with his material body but transcendental to it, thinks himself to be situated in the body, just as one who is dreaming sees himself as situated in an imaginary body.
guṇair api guṇeṣu ca
gṛhyamāṇeṣv ahaṁ kuryān
na vidvān yas tv avikriyaḥ
indriyaiḥ — by the senses; indriya — of the senses; artheṣu — in the objects; guṇaiḥ — by those generated from the modes of nature; api — even; guṇeṣu — in those generated by the same modes; ca — also; gṛhyamāṇeṣu — as they are being accepted; aham — false ego; kuryāt — should create; na — not; vidvān — one who is enlightened; yaḥ — who; tu — indeed; avikriyaḥ — is not affected by material desire.
An enlightened person who is free from the contamination of material desire does not consider himself to be the performer of bodily activities; rather, he knows that in all such activities it is only the senses, born of the modes of nature, that are contacting sense objects born of the same modes of nature.
daivādhīne śarīre ’smin
vartamāno ’budhas tatra
daiva — of one’s previous fruitive activities; adhīne — which is under the influence; śarīre — in the material body; asmin — in this; guṇa — by the modes of nature; bhāvyena — which are produced; karmaṇā — by fruitive activities; vartamānaḥ — being situated; abudhaḥ — one who is foolish; tatra — within the bodily functions; kartā — the doer; asmi — I am; iti — thus; nibadhyate — is bound up.
An unintelligent person situated within the body created by his previous fruitive activities thinks, “I am the performer of action.” Bewildered by false ego, such a foolish person is therefore bound up by fruitive activities, which are in fact carried out by the modes of nature.
evaṁ viraktaḥ śayana
na tathā badhyate vidvān
tatra tatrādayan guṇān
evam — thus; viraktaḥ — detached from material enjoyment; śayane — in lying or sleeping; āsana — in sitting; aṭana — walking; majjane — or in bathing; darśana — in seeing; sparśana — touching; ghrāṇa — smelling; bhojana — eating; śravaṇa — hearing; ādiṣu — and so on; na — not; tathā — in that way; badhyate — is bound; vidvān — an intelligent person; tatra tatra — wherever he goes; ādayan — causing to experience; guṇān — the senses, born of the modes of nature.
An enlightened person fixed in detachment engages his body in lying down, sitting, walking, bathing, seeing, touching, smelling, eating, hearing and so on, but is never entangled by such activities. Indeed, remaining as a witness to all bodily functions, he merely engages his bodily senses with their objects and does not become entangled like an unintelligent person.
prakṛti-stho ’py asaṁsakto
yathā khaṁ savitānilaḥ
pratibuddha iva svapnān
prakṛti — in the material world; sthaḥ — situated; api — even though; asaṁsaktaḥ — completely detached from sense gratification; yathā — just as; kham — the sky; savitā — the sun; anilaḥ — the wind; vaiśāradyā — by most expert; īkṣayā — vision; asaṅga — through detachment; śitayā — sharpened; chinna — cut to pieces; saṁśayaḥ — doubts; pratibuddhaḥ — awakened; iva — like; svapnāt — from a dream; nānātvāt — from the duality of variety of the material world; vinivartate — one turns away or renounces.
Although the sky, or space, is the resting place of everything, the sky does not mix with anything, nor is it entangled. Similarly, the sun is not at all attached to the water in which it is reflected within innumerable reservoirs, and the mighty wind blowing everywhere is not affected by the innumerable aromas and atmospheres through which it passes. In the same way, a self-realized soul is completely detached from the material body and the material world around it. He is like a person who has awakened and arisen from a dream. With expert vision sharpened by detachment, the self-realized soul cuts all doubts to pieces through knowledge of the self and completely withdraws his consciousness from the expansion of material variety.
yasya syur vīta-saṅkalpāḥ
vṛttayaḥ sa vinirmukto
deha-stho ’pi hi tad-guṇaiḥ
yasya — of whom; syuḥ — they are; vīta — freed from; saṅkalpāḥ — material desire; prāṇa — of the vital energy; indriya — the senses; manaḥ — the mind; dhiyām — and of intelligence; vṛttayaḥ — the functions; saḥ — such a person; vinirmuktaḥ — completely freed; deha — in the body; sthaḥ — situated; api — even though; hi — certainly; tat — of the body; guṇaiḥ — from all of the qualities.
A person is considered to be completely liberated from the gross and subtle material bodies when all the functions of his vital energy, senses, mind and intelligence are performed without material desire. Such a person, although situated within the body, is not entangled.
yasyātmā hiṁsyate hiṁsrair
yena kiñcid yadṛcchayā
arcyate vā kvacit tatra
na vyatikriyate budhaḥ
yasya — of whom; ātmā — the body; hiṁsyate — is attacked; hiṁsraiḥ — by sinful people or violent animals; yena — by someone; kiñcit — somewhat; yadṛcchayā — somehow or other; arcyate — is worshiped; vā — or; kvacit — somewhere; tatra — therein; na — not; vyatikriyate — is transformed or affected; budhaḥ — one who is intelligent.
Sometimes for no apparent reason one’s body is attacked by cruel people or violent animals. At other times and in other places, one will suddenly be offered great respect or worship. One who becomes neither angry when attacked nor satisfied when worshiped is actually intelligent.
na stuvīta na nindeta
kurvataḥ sādhv asādhu vā
varjitaḥ sama-dṛṅ muniḥ
na stuvīta — does not praise; na nindeta — does not criticize; kurvataḥ — those who are working; sādhu — very nicely; asādhu — very badly; vā — or; vadataḥ — those who are speaking; guṇa-doṣābhyām — from good and bad qualities; varjitaḥ — freed; sama-dṛk — seeing things equally; muniḥ — a saintly sage.
A saintly sage sees with equal vision and therefore is not affected by that which is materially good or bad. Indeed, although he observes others performing good and bad work and speaking properly and improperly, the sage does not praise or criticize anyone.
na kuryān na vadet kiñcin
na dhyāyet sādhv asādhu vā
ātmārāmo ’nayā vṛttyā
vicarej jaḍa-van muniḥ
na kuryāt — should not do; na vadet — should not speak; kiñcit — anything; na dhyāyet — should not contemplate; sādhu asādhu vā — either good or bad things; ātma-ārāmaḥ — one who is taking pleasure in self-realization; anayā — with this; vṛttyā — lifestyle; vicaret — he should wander; jaḍa-vat — just like a stunted person; muniḥ — a saintly sage.
For the purpose of maintaining his body, a liberated sage should not act, speak or contemplate in terms of material good or bad. Rather, he should be detached in all material circumstances, and taking pleasure in self-realization, he should wander about engaged in this liberated lifestyle, appearing like a retarded person to outsiders.
na niṣṇāyāt pare yadi
śramas tasya śrama-phalo
hy adhenum iva rakṣataḥ
śabda-brahmaṇi — in the Vedic literature; niṣṇātaḥ — expert through complete study; na niṣṇāyāt — does not absorb the mind; pare — in the Supreme; yadi — if; śramaḥ — labor; tasya — his; śrama — of great endeavor; phalaḥ — the fruit; hi — certainly; adhenum — a cow that gives no milk; iva — like; rakṣataḥ — of one who is taking care of.
If through meticulous study one becomes expert in reading Vedic literature but makes no endeavor to fix one’s mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then one’s endeavor is certainly like that of a man who works very hard to take care of a cow that gives no milk. In other words, the fruit of one’s laborious study of Vedic knowledge will simply be the labor itself. There will be no other tangible result.
gāṁ dugdha-dohām asatīṁ ca bhāryāṁ
dehaṁ parādhīnam asat-prajāṁ ca
vittaṁ tv atīrthī-kṛtam aṅga vācaṁ
hīnāṁ mayā rakṣati duḥkha-duḥkhī
gām — a cow; dugdha — whose milk; dohām — already taken; asatīm — unchaste; ca — also; bhāryām — a wife; deham — a body; para — upon others; adhīnam — always dependent; asat — useless; prajām — children; ca — also; vittam — wealth; tu — but; atīrthī-kṛtam — not given to the proper recipient; aṅga — O Uddhava; vācam — Vedic knowledge; hīnām — devoid; mayā — of knowledge of Me; rakṣati — he takes care of; duḥkha-duḥkhī — he who suffers one misery after another.
My dear Uddhava, that man is certainly most miserable who takes care of a cow that gives no milk, an unchaste wife, a body totally dependent on others, useless children or wealth not utilized for the right purpose. Similarly, one who studies Vedic knowledge devoid of My glories is also most miserable.
yasyāṁ na me pāvanam aṅga karma
līlāvatārepsita-janma vā syād
vandhyāṁ giraṁ tāṁ bibhṛyān na dhīraḥ
yasyām — in which (literature); na — not; me — My; pāvanam — purifying; aṅga — O Uddhava; karma — activities; sthiti — maintenance; udbhava — creation; prāṇa-nirodham — and annihilation; asya — of the material world; līlā-avatāra — among the pastime incarnations; īpsita — desired; janma — appearance; vā — or; syāt — is; vandhyām — barren; giram — vibration; tām — this; bibhṛyāt — should support; na — not; dhīraḥ — an intelligent person.
My dear Uddhava, an intelligent person should never take to literatures that do not contain descriptions of My activities, which purify the whole universe. Indeed, I create, maintain and annihilate the entire material manifestation. Among all My pastime incarnations, the most beloved are Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. Any so-called knowledge that does not recognize these activities of Mine is simply barren and is not acceptable to those who are actually intelligent.
mano mayy arpya sarva-ge
evam — thus (as I have now concluded); jijñāsayā — by analytic study; apohya — giving up; nānātva — of material variety; bhramam — the mistake of rotating; ātmani — in the self; upārameta — one should cease from material life; virajam — pure; manaḥ — the mind; mayi — in Me; arpya — fixing; sarva-ge — who am all-pervading.
Coming to this conclusion of all knowledge, one should give up the false conception of material variety that one imposes upon the soul and thus cease one’s material existence. The mind should be fixed on Me, since I am all-pervading.
yady anīśo dhārayituṁ
mano brahmaṇi niścalam
mayi sarvāṇi karmāṇi
yadi — if; anīśaḥ — incapable; dhārayitum — to fix; manaḥ — the mind; brahmaṇi — on the spiritual platform; niścalam — free from sense gratification; mayi — in Me; sarvāṇi — all; karmāṇi — activities; nirapekṣaḥ — without trying to enjoy the fruits; samācara — execute.
My dear Uddhava, if you are not able to free your mind from all material disturbance and thus absorb it completely on the spiritual platform, then perform all your activities as an offering to Me, without trying to enjoy the fruits.
śraddhālur mat-kathāḥ śṛṇvan
gāyann anusmaran karma
janma cābhinayan muhuḥ
labhate niścalāṁ bhaktiṁ
mayy uddhava sanātane
śraddhāluḥ — a faithful person; mat-kathāḥ — narrations about Me; śṛṇvan — hearing; su-bhadrāḥ — which are all-auspicious; loka — the entire world; pāvanīḥ — purifying; gāyan — singing; anusmaran — remembering constantly; karma — My activities; janma — My birth; ca — also; abhinayan — reliving through dramatical performances, etc; muhuḥ — again and again; mat-arthe — for My pleasure; dharma — religious activities; kāma — sense activities; arthān — and commercial activities; ācaran — performing; mat — in Me; apāśrayaḥ — having one’s shelter; labhate — one obtains; niścalām — without deviation; bhaktim — devotional service; mayi — to Me; uddhava — O Uddhava; sanātane — dedicated to My eternal form.
My dear Uddhava, narrations of My pastimes and qualities are all-auspicious and purify the entire universe. A faithful person who constantly hears, glorifies and remembers such transcendental activities, who through dramatic performances relives My pastimes, beginning with My appearance, and who takes full shelter of Me, dedicating his religious, sensual and occupational activities for My satisfaction, certainly obtains unflinching devotional service to Me, the eternal Personality of Godhead.
mayi māṁ sa upāsitā
sa vai me darśitaṁ sadbhir
añjasā vindate padam
sat — of the devotees of the Lord; saṅga — by the association; labdhayā — obtained; bhaktyā — by devotion; mayi — to Me; mām — of Me; saḥ — he; upāsitā — worshiper; saḥ — that very person; vai — undoubtedly; me — My; darśitam — revealed; sadbhiḥ — by My pure devotees; añjasā — very easily; vindate — achieves; padam — My lotus feet or My eternal abode.
One who has obtained pure devotional service by association with My devotees always engages in worshiping Me. Thus he very easily goes to My abode, which is revealed by My pure devotees.
mataḥ kīdṛg-vidhaḥ prabho
bhaktis tvayy upayujyeta
kīdṛśī sadbhir ādṛtā
etan me puruṣādhyakṣa
prapannāya ca kathyatām
śrī-uddhavaḥ uvāca — Śrī Uddhava said; sādhuḥ — a saintly person; tava — in Your; uttama-śloka — my dear Lord; mataḥ — opinion; kīdṛk-vidhaḥ — what kind would he be; prabho — my dear Personality of Godhead; bhaktiḥ — devotional service; tvayi — unto Your Lordship; upayujyeta — deserves to be executed; kīdṛśī — what type is it; sadbhiḥ — by Your pure devotees such as Nārada; ādṛtā — honored; etat — this; me — to me; puruṣa-adhyakṣa — O ruler of the universal controllers; loka-adhyakṣa — O Supreme Lord of Vaikuṇṭha; jagat-prabho — O God of the universe; praṇatāya — unto Your surrendered devotee; anuraktāya — who loves You; prapannāya — who has no other shelter than You; ca — also; kathyatām — let this be spoken.
Śrī Uddhava said: My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, what type of person do You consider to be a true devotee, and what type of devotional service is approved by great devotees as worthy of being offered to Your Lordship? My dear ruler of the universal controllers, O Lord of Vaikuṇṭha and almighty God of the universe, I am Your devotee, and because I love You I have no other shelter than You. Therefore please explain this to me.
tvaṁ brahma paramaṁ vyoma
puruṣaḥ prakṛteḥ paraḥ
avatīrno ’si bhagavan
tvam — You; brahma paramam — the Absolute Truth; vyoma — like the sky (You are detached from everything); puruṣaḥ — the Personality of Godhead; prakṛteḥ — to material nature; paraḥ — transcendental; avatīrṇaḥ — incarnated; asi — You are; bhagavan — the Lord; sva — of Your own (devotees); icchā — according to the desire; upātta — accepted; pṛthak — different; vapuḥ — bodies.
My dear Lord, as the Absolute Truth You are transcendental to material nature, and like the sky You are never entangled in any way. Still, being controlled by Your devotees’ love, You accept many different forms, incarnating according to Your devotees’ desires.
kāmair ahata-dhīr dānto
mṛduḥ śucir akiñcanaḥ
anīho mita-bhuk śāntaḥ
sthiro mac-charaṇo muniḥ
amānī māna-daḥ kalyo
maitraḥ kāruṇikaḥ kaviḥ
ājñāyaivaṁ guṇān doṣān
mayādiṣṭān api svakān
dharmān santyajya yaḥ sarvān
māṁ bhajeta sa tu sattamaḥ
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; kṛpāluḥ — unable to tolerate the suffering of others; akṛta-drohaḥ — never injuring others; titikṣuḥ — forgiving; sarva-dehinām — toward all living entities; satya-sāraḥ — one who lives by truth and whose strength and firmness come from truthfulness; anavadya-ātmā — a soul free from envy, jealousy, etc; samaḥ — whose consciousness is equal both in happiness and in distress; sarva-upakārakaḥ — always endeavoring as far as possible for the welfare of all others; kāmaiḥ — by material desires; ahata — undisturbed; dhīḥ — whose intelligence; dāntaḥ — controlling the external senses; mṛduḥ — without a harsh mentality; śuciḥ — always well-behaved; akiñcanaḥ — without possessiveness; anīhaḥ — free from worldly activities; mita-bhuk — eating austerely; śāntaḥ — controlling the mind; sthiraḥ — remaining steady in one’s prescribed duty; mat-śaraṇaḥ — accepting Me as the only shelter; muniḥ — thoughtful; apramattaḥ — cautious and sober; gabhīra-ātmā — not superficial, and thus unchanging; dhṛti-mān — not weak or miserable even in distressing circumstances; jita — having conquered; ṣaṭ-guṇaḥ — the six material qualities, namely hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion, old age and death; amānī — without desire for prestige; māna-daḥ — offering all respects to others; kalyaḥ — expert in reviving the Kṛṣṇa consciousness of others; maitraḥ — never cheating anyone, and thus a true friend; kāruṇikaḥ — acting always due to compassion, not personal ambition; kaviḥ — completely learned; ājñāya — knowing; evam — thus; guṇān — good qualities; doṣān — bad qualities; mayā — by Me; ādiṣṭān — taught; api — even; svakān — one’s own; dharmān — religious principles; santyajya — giving up; yaḥ — one who; sarvān — all; mām — Me; bhajeta — worships; saḥ — he; tu — indeed; sat-tamaḥ — the best among saintly persons.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Uddhava, a saintly person is merciful and never injures others. Even if others are aggressive he is tolerant and forgiving toward all living entities. His strength and meaning in life come from the truth itself, he is free from all envy and jealousy, and his mind is equal in material happiness and distress. Thus, he dedicates his time to work for the welfare of all others. His intelligence is never bewildered by material desires, and he has controlled his senses. His behavior is always pleasing, never harsh and always exemplary, and he is free from possessiveness. He never endeavors in ordinary, worldly activities, and he strictly controls his eating. He therefore always remains peaceful and steady. A saintly person is thoughtful and accepts Me as his only shelter. Such a person is very cautious in the execution of his duties and is never subject to superficial transformations, because he is steady and noble, even in a distressing situation. He has conquered over the six material qualities — namely hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion, old age and death. He is free from all desire for prestige and offers honor to others. He is expert in reviving the Kṛṣṇa consciousness of others and therefore never cheats anyone. Rather, he is a well-wishing friend to all, being most merciful. Such a saintly person must be considered the most learned of men. He perfectly understands that the ordinary religious duties prescribed by Me in various Vedic scriptures possess favorable qualities that purify the performer, and he knows that neglect of such duties constitutes a discrepancy in one’s life. Having taken complete shelter at My lotus feet, however, a saintly person ultimately renounces such ordinary religious duties and worships Me alone. He is thus considered to be the best among all living entities.
jñātvājñātvātha ye vai māṁ
yāvān yaś cāsmi yādṛśaḥ
te me bhaktatamā matāḥ
jñātvā — knowing; ajñātvā — not knowing; atha — thus; ye — those who; vai — certainly; mām — Me; yāvān — as; yaḥ — who; ca — also; asmi — I am; yādṛśaḥ — how I am; bhajanti — worship; ananya-bhāvena — with exclusive devotion; te — they; me — by Me; bhakta-tamāḥ — the best devotees; matāḥ — are considered.
My devotees may or may not know exactly what I am, who I am and how I exist, but if they worship Me with unalloyed love, then I consider them to be the best of devotees.
paricaryā stutiḥ prahva-
yātrā bali-vidhānaṁ ca
vaidikī tāntrikī dīkṣā
svataḥ saṁhatya codyamaḥ
dāsa-vad yad amāyayā
api dīpāvalokaṁ me
yad yad iṣṭatamaṁ loke
yac cāti-priyam ātmanaḥ
tat tan nivedayen mahyaṁ
tad ānantyāya kalpate
mat-liṅga — My appearance in this world as the Deity, etc; mat-bhakta-jana — My devotees; darśana — seeing; sparśana — touching; arcanam — and worshiping; paricaryā — rendering personal service; stutiḥ — offering prayers of glorification; prahva — obeisances; guṇa — My qualities; karma — and activities; anukīrtanam — constantly glorifying; mat-kathā — topics about Me; śravaṇe — in hearing; śraddhā — faith due to love; mat-anudhyānam — always meditating on Me; uddhava — O Uddhava; sarva-lābha — all that one acquires; upaharaṇam — offering; dāsyena — by accepting oneself as My servant; ātma-nivedanam — self-surrender; mat-janma-karma-kathanam — glorifying My birth and activities; mama — My; parva — in festivals such as Janmāṣṭamī; anumodanam — taking great pleasure; gīta — by songs; tāṇḍava — dancing; vāditra — musical instruments; goṣṭhībhiḥ — and discussions among devotees; mat-gṛha — in My temple; utsavaḥ — festivals; yātrā — celebrations; bali-vidhānam — making offerings; ca — also; sarva — in all; vārṣika — annual; parvasu — in the celebrations; vaidikī — mentioned in the Vedas; tāntrikī — mentioned in literatures such as the Pañcarātra; dīkṣā — initiation; madīya — in relation to Me; vrata — vows; dhāraṇam — observing; mama — My; arcā — of the Deity form; sthāpane — in the installation; śraddhā — being faithfully attached; svataḥ — by oneself; saṁhatya — with others; ca — also; udyamaḥ — endeavor; udyāna — of flower gardens; upavana — orchards; ākrīḍa — places of pastimes; pura — devotional cities; mandira — and temples; karmaṇi — in the construction; sammārjana — by thoroughly sweeping and dusting; upalepābhyām — then by smearing water and cow dung; seka — by sprinkling scented water; maṇḍala-vartanaiḥ — by construction of maṇḍalas; gṛha — of the temple, which is My home; śuśrūṣaṇam — service; mahyam — for My sake; dāsa-vat — being like a servant; yat — which; amāyayā — without duplicity; amānitvam — being without false prestige; adambhitvam — being prideless; kṛtasya — one’s devotional activities; aparikīrtanam — not advertising; api — moreover; dīpa — of lamps; avalokam — the light; me — which belong to Me; na — not; upayuñjyāt — one should engage; niveditam — things already offered to others; yat yat — anything; iṣṭa-tamam — most desired; loke — in the material world; yat ca — and anything; ati-priyam — most dear; ātmanaḥ — of oneself; tat tat — that very thing; nivedayet — one should offer; mahyam — unto Me; tat — that offering; ānantyāya — for immortality; kalpate — qualifies one.
My dear Uddhava, one can give up false pride and prestige by engaging in the following devotional activities. One may purify oneself by seeing, touching, worshiping, serving, and offering prayers of glorification and obeisances to My form as the Deity and to My pure devotees. One should also glorify My transcendental qualities and activities, hear with love and faith the narrations of My glories and constantly meditate on Me. One should offer to Me whatever one acquires, and accepting oneself as My eternal servant, one should give oneself completely to Me. One should always discuss My birth and activities and enjoy life by participating in festivals, such as Janmāṣṭamī, which glorify My pastimes. In My temple, one should also participate in festivals and ceremonies by singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and discussing Me with other Vaiṣṇavas. One should observe all the regularly celebrated annual festivals by attending ceremonies, pilgrimages and making offerings. One should also observe religious vows such as Ekādaśī and take initiation by the procedures mentioned in the Vedas, Pañcarātra and other, similar literatures. One should faithfully and lovingly support the installation of My Deity, and individually or in cooperation with others one should work for the construction of Kṛṣṇa conscious temples and cities as well as flower gardens, fruit gardens and special areas to celebrate My pastimes. One should consider oneself to be My humble servant, without duplicity, and thus should help to clean the temple, which is My home. First one should sweep and dust thoroughly, and then one should further cleanse with water and cow dung. Having dried the temple, one should sprinkle scented water and decorate the temple with maṇḍalas. One should thus act just like My servant. A devotee should never advertise his devotional activities; therefore his service will not be the cause of false pride. One should never use lamps that are offered to Me for other purposes simply because there is need of illumination, and similarly, one should never offer to Me anything that has been offered to or used by others. Whatever is most desired by one within this material world, and whatever is most dear to oneself — one should offer that very thing to Me. Such an offering qualifies one for eternal life.
sūryo ’gnir brāhmaṇā gāvo
vaiṣṇavaḥ khaṁ maruj jalam
bhūr ātmā sarva-bhūtāni
bhadra pūjā-padāni me
sūryaḥ — the sun; agniḥ — fire; brāhmaṇāḥ — the brāhmaṇas; gāvaḥ — the cows; vaiṣṇavaḥ — the devotee of the Lord; kham — the sky; marut — the wind; jalam — water; bhūḥ — the earth; ātmā — the individual soul; sarva-bhūtāni — all living entities; bhadra — O saintly Uddhava; pūjā — of worship; padāni — the places; me — of Me.
O saintly Uddhava, please know that you may worship Me in the sun, fire, brāhmaṇas, cows, Vaiṣṇavas, sky, wind, water, earth, individual soul and all living entities.
sūrye tu vidyayā trayyā
haviṣāgnau yajeta mām
ātithyena tu viprāgrye
goṣv aṅga yavasādinā
hṛdi khe dhyāna-niṣṭhayā
vāyau mukhya-dhiyā toye
bhogair ātmānam ātmani
samatvena yajeta mām
sūrye — in the sun; tu — indeed; vidyayā trayyā — by offering selected Vedic hymns of praise, worship and obeisances; haviṣā — with offerings of clarified butter; agnau — in the fire; yajeta — one should worship; mām — Me; ātithyena — by respectfully receiving them as guests even when uninvited; tu — indeed; vipra — of brāhmaṇas; agrye — in the best; goṣu — in the cows; aṅga — O Uddhava; yavasa-ādinā — by offering grass and other paraphernalia for their maintenance; vaiṣṇave — in the Vaiṣṇava; bandhu — with loving friendship; sat-kṛtyā — by honoring; hṛdi — within the heart; khe — within the inner space; dhyāna — in meditation; niṣṭhayā — by being fixed; vāyau — in the air; mukhya — the most important; dhiyā — considering by intelligence; toye — in water; dravyaiḥ — by material elements; toya-puraḥ-saraiḥ — by water, etc; sthaṇḍile — in the earth; mantra-hṛdayaiḥ — by application of confidential mantras; bhogaiḥ — by offering of materially enjoyable objects; ātmānam — the jīva soul; ātmani — within the body; kṣetra-jñam — the Supersoul; sarva-bhūteṣu — within all living beings; samatvena — seeing Him equally everywhere; yajeta — one should worship; mām — Me.
My dear Uddhava, one should worship Me within the sun by chanting selected Vedic mantras and by performing worship and offering obeisances. One may worship Me within fire by offering oblations of ghee, and one may worship Me among the brāhmaṇas by respectfully receiving them as guests, even when uninvited. I can be worshiped within the cows by offerings of grass and other suitable grains and paraphernalia for the pleasure and health of the cows, and one may worship Me within the Vaiṣṇavas by offering loving friendship to them and honoring them in all respects. Through steady meditation I am worshiped within the inner space of the heart, and within the air I can be worshiped by knowledge that prāṇa, the life air, is the chief among elements. I am worshiped within water by offerings of water itself, along with other elements such as flowers and tulasī leaves, and one may worship Me within the earth by proper application of confidential seed mantras. One may worship Me within the individual living entity by offering food and other enjoyable substances, and one may worship Me within all living entities by seeing the Supersoul within all of them, thus maintaining equal vision.
dhiṣṇyeṣv ity eṣu mad-rūpaṁ
yuktaṁ catur-bhujaṁ śāntaṁ
dhyāyann arcet samāhitaḥ
dhiṣṇyeṣu — in the previously mentioned places of worship; iti — thus (by the previously mentioned processes); eṣu — in them; mat-rūpam — My transcendental form; śaṅkha — with the conchshell; cakra — Sudarśana disc; gadā — club; ambujaiḥ — and lotus flower; yuktam — equipped; catuḥ-bhujam — with four arms; śāntam — peaceful; dhyāyan — meditating; arcet — one should worship; samāhitaḥ — with complete attention.
Thus, in the previously mentioned places of worship and according to the processes I have described, one should meditate on My peaceful, transcendental form with four arms holding a conchshell, Sudarśana disc, club and lotus flower. In this way, one should worship Me with fixed attention.
iṣṭā-pūrtena mām evaṁ
yo yajeta samāhitaḥ
labhate mayi sad-bhaktiṁ
iṣṭā — by sacrificial performances for one’s own benefit; pūrtena — and pious works for the benefit of others, such as digging wells; mām — Me; evam — thus; yaḥ — one who; yajeta — worships; samāhitaḥ — with mind fixed in Me; labhate — such a person obtains; mayi — in Me; sat-bhaktim — unflinching devotional service; mat-smṛtiḥ — realized knowledge of Me; sādhu — with all superior qualities; sevayā — by service.
One who has executed sacrificial performances and pious works for My satisfaction, and who thus worships Me with fixed attention, obtains unflinching devotional service unto Me. By the excellent quality of his service such a worshiper obtains realized knowledge of Me.
nopāyo vidyate samyak
prāyaṇaṁ hi satām aham
prāyeṇa — for all practical purposes; bhakti-yogena — devotional service unto Me; sat-saṅgena — which is made possible by association with My devotees; vinā — without; uddhava — O Uddhava; na — not; upāyaḥ — any means; vidyate — there is; samyak — that actually works; prāyaṇam — the true path of life or actual shelter; hi — because; satām — of liberated souls; aham — I.
My dear Uddhava, I am personally the ultimate shelter and way of life for saintly liberated persons, and thus if one does not engage in My loving devotional service, which is made possible by associating with My devotees, then for all practical purposes, one possesses no effective means for escaping from material existence.
athaitat paramaṁ guhyaṁ
su-gopyam api vakṣyāmi
tvaṁ me bhṛtyaḥ suhṛt sakhā
atha — thus; etat — this; paramam — supreme; guhyam — secret; śṛṇvataḥ — to you who are listening; yadu-nandana — O beloved of the Yadu dynasty; su-gopyam — most confidential; api — even; vakṣyāmi — I will speak; tvam — you; me — of Me; bhṛtyaḥ — are the servant; su-hṛt — well-wisher; sakhā — and friend.
My dear Uddhava, O beloved of the Yadu dynasty, because you are My servant, well-wisher and friend, I shall now speak to you the most confidential knowledge. Please hear as I explain these great mysteries to you.