Meditating on The Qualities of Vaishnavas

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.89.13-17 - Meditating on The Qualities of Vaishnavas (download mp3)
by Shubha Vilas Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.89.13
punas ca satram avrajya
 muninam brahma-vadinam
svanubhutam asesena
 rajan bhrgur avarnayat

O King, Bhrgu then returned to the sacrificial arena of the wise Vedic authorities and described his entire experience to them.

SB 10.89.14-17
tan nisamyatha munayo
 vismita mukta-samsayah
bhuyamsam sraddadhur visnum
 yatah santir yato ’bhayam
dharmah saksad yato jñanam
 vairagyam ca tad-anvitam
aisvaryam castadha yasmad
 yasas catma-malapaham
muninam nyasta-dandanam
 santanam sama-cetasam
akiñcananam sadhunam
 yam ahuh paramam gatim
sattvam yasya priya murtir
 brahmanas tv ista-devatah
bhajanty anasisah santa
 yam va nipuna-buddhayah

Amazed upon hearing Bhrgu’s account, the sages were freed from all doubts and became convinced that Visnu is the greatest Lord. From Him come peace; fearlessness; the essential principles of religion; detachment with knowledge; the eightfold powers of mystic yoga; and His glorification, which cleanses the mind of all impurities. He is known as the supreme destination for those who are peaceful and equipoised — the selfless, wise saints who have given up all violence. His most dear form is that of pure goodness, and the brahmanas are His worshipable deities. Persons of keen intellect who have attained spiritual peace worship Him without selfish motives.

By becoming devoted to the Personality of Godhead, one easily attains divine knowledge and detachment from sense gratification, without separate endeavor. As described in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam (11.2.42):

bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir
 anyatra caisa trika eka-kalah
prapadyamanasya yathasnatah syus
 tustih pustih ksud-apayo ’nu-ghasam

“Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things — these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way that pleasure, nourishment and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating.” Similarly, in the First Canto (1.2.7), Srila Suta Gosvami states:

vasudeve bhagavati
 bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam
 jñanam ca yad ahaitukam

“By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.”

Lord Sri Kapila, in His instructions to His mother, Devahuti, proposes that the eightfold powers of yoga are also coincidental fruits of devotional service:

atho vibhutim mama mayavinas tam
 aisvaryam astangam anupravrttam
sriyam bhagavatim vasprhayanti bhadram
 parasya me te ’snuvate hi loke

“Because he is completely absorbed in thought of Me, My devotee does not desire even the highest benediction obtainable in the upper planetary systems, including Satyaloka. He does not desire the eight material perfections obtained from mystic yoga, nor does he desire to be elevated to the kingdom of God. Yet even without desiring them, My devotee enjoys, even in this life, all the offered benedictions.” (Bhag. 3.25.37)

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that in text 16, three kinds of transcendentalists are named: the munis, the santas and the sadhus. These are, in order of increasing importance, persons striving for liberation, those who have attained liberation, and those who are engaged in pure devotional service to Lord Visnu.