Srimad Bhagavatam 11.05.03 - Stability in Spiritual Life Depends Upon Our Relationship with Spiritual Master (download mp3)
by Shubha Vilas Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
ya esam purusam saksad
na bhajanty avajananti
sthanad bhrastah patanty adhah
If any of the members of the four varnas and four asramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they will fall down from their position into a hellish state of life.
The words na bhajanti in this verse refer to those who out of ignorance do not worship the Supreme Lord, whereas the word avajananti refers to those who have actually been informed of the supreme position of the Lord but still show Him disrespect. It has already been described that the four spiritual and occupational orders of life are generated from the body of the Lord. In fact, the Supreme Lord is the source of everything, as described in Bhagavad-gita (10.8): aham sarvasya prabhavah. Those who foolishly do not inquire into the position of the Personality of Godhead, as well as those who disrespect the Lord in spite of having heard of His transcendental position, will certainly fall down from the varnasrama-dharma system, as described by the words sthanad bhrastah. The words patanty adhah indicate that one who falls from the varnasrama system will have no means of avoiding sinful activities; nor will such a person receive any credit for performing sacrifice, and thus he will gradually sink down into lower and lower species of life in hellish conditions. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has pointed out that the original cause of offending the Lord and falling down from one’s position is one’s not learning how to properly worship a bona fide spiritual master. One who is trained to offer respectful obeisances and worship to the bona fide spiritual master automatically offers proper worship to the Supreme Lord. Without the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master, even a so-called religious man will gradually become atheistic, offend the Lord by foolish speculation and fall into a hellish condition of life. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has pointed out that the purusa mentioned in this verse is Lord Garbhodakasayi Visnu, who is glorified in the Purusa-sukta prayers. If one is proud of his high social position and enviously thinks that the Lord is also a creation of nature and that there is no absolute entity who is the origin of all beings, then such a puffed-up fool will certainly fall down from the varnasrama system and become just like an unregulated animal.