Why Introduce Bhakti in Our Life
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.02.43 - Why Introduce Bhakti in Our Life (download mp3)
by Radha Vallabha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
ity acyutanghrim bhajato ’nuvrttya
bhaktir viraktir bhagavat-prabodhah
bhavanti vai bhagavatasya rajams
tatah param santim upaiti saksat
My dear King, the devotee who worships the lotus feet of the infallible Personality of Godhead with constant endeavor thus achieves unflinching devotion, detachment and experienced knowledge of the Personality of Godhead. In this way the successful devotee of the Lord achieves supreme spiritual peace.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (2.71):
vihaya kaman yah sarvan
pumams carati nihsprhah
sa santim adhigacchati
“A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and who is devoid of false ego — he alone can attain real peace.” Srila Prabhupada comments, “To become desireless means not to desire anything for sense gratification. In other words, desire for becoming Krsna conscious is actually desirelessness.” There is a similar statement in the Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 19.149):
krsna-bhakta — niskama, ataeva ‘santa’
bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kami — sakali ‘asanta’
“Because a devotee of Lord Krsna is desireless, he is peaceful. Fruitive workers desire material enjoyment, jñanis desire liberation, and yogis desire material opulence; therefore they are all lusty and cannot be peaceful.”
Generally there are three classes of living entities afflicted with selfish desire. These are the bhukti-kami, mukti-kami and siddhi-kami. Bhukti-kami refers to those ordinary persons who desire money and everything money can buy. Such a primitive mentality is based on the desire to enjoy money, sex and social prestige. When a living being becomes frustrated with this hallucination, he takes to the path of speculative philosophy and analytically tries to track down the source of illusion. Such a person is called mukti-kami because he desires to negate material illusion and merge into an impersonal spiritual state, free from anxiety. The mukti-kami is also motivated by personal desire, although the desire is somewhat more elevated. Similarly the siddhi-kami, or the mystic yogi who desires the spectacular powers of mystic yoga, such as reaching one’s hand across the world or making oneself smaller than the smallest or lighter than the lightest, is also infected by material or selfish desire. Therefore it is said, sakali ‘asanta.’ If one has any personal desire, whether it be material, philosophical or mystic, he will be asanta, or ultimately frustrated, because he will see himself as the central object of satisfaction. This egocentric concept is in itself illusory and therefore ultimately frustrating.
On the other hand, krsna-bhakta niskama, ataeva ‘santa’: a devotee of Lord Krsna is niskama; he has no personal desire. His only desire is to please Krsna. Lord Siva himself has praised this outstanding quality of the pure devotees of the Lord by stating:
na kutascana bibhyati
“A person who is devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, is not afraid of anything. Elevation to the heavenly kingdom, condemnation to hell and liberation from material bondage all appear the same to a devotee.” (Bhag. 6.17.28) Although the impersonalist philosopher proposes that everything is one, the devotee of the Lord is actually tulyartha-darsi, or empowered with the vision of oneness. The devotee sees everything as the potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and therefore desires to engage everything in the service of the Lord, for the Lord’s satisfaction. Since the devotee does not see anything as dvitiya, or outside the scope of the Lord’s potency, he is happy in any situation. Having no personal desire, the devotee of Krsna is actually santa, or peaceful, because he has achieved the perfection of life, love of Krsna. He is actually situated in his eternal constitutional position under the direct shelter and protection of the omnipotent Paramesvara, Krsna.
According to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, this verse ends the answer given by the first of the nine Yogendras, Kavi, to Maharaja Nimi’s first question, “What is the highest good?”