Srimad Bhagavatam 11.02.09 - Bhakti is Received through Mercy (download mp3)
by Hare Krishna Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
mucyema hy añjasaivaddha
tatha nah sadhi su-vrata
My dear lord, you are always true to your vow. Please instruct me clearly, so that by your mercy I may easily free myself from material existence, which is full of many dangers and keeps us constantly bound in fear.
The word mucyema is significant here. In the previous verse Vasudeva stated that because he had been bewildered by the illusory energy of the Lord he could not achieve from the Supreme Personality of Godhead the boon of liberation. Therefore he is now approaching the pure devotee of the Lord, confident that by the mercy of the Lord’s devotee he will certainly achieve liberation from material bondage.
In this connection the words añjasa, “easily,” and addha, “directly,” are very important. Although foolish persons proudly want to jump up directly to the Supreme Personality of Godhead without accepting His pure devotee as spiritual master, those who are experienced in spiritual science know that by submission and service at the lotus feet of a pure devotee one directly contacts the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.17.27) Lord Krsna has stated, acaryam mam vijaniyan navamanyeta karhicit. Thus one should understand that the pure devotee of Krsna stands on the same spiritual level as the Lord Himself. This does not mean that a pure devotee is also God, but because of his intimate loving connection with the Lord, he is accepted by the Lord as being the Lord’s very soul. In other words, Krsna is always in the heart of His pure devotee, and the pure devotee is always in the heart of Krsna. Although Sri Krsna is eternally the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one without a second, the Lord is more pleased to see His pure devotee worshiped. Therefore the Lord says, acaryam mam vijaniyat. One must offer the same respect to the Vaisnava spiritual master as one would offer to the Lord. Therefore as soon as one pleases the Vaisnava spiritual master, one immediately pleases Krsna and makes spiritual advancement. The word añjasa means that this bona fide process is the easiest method of achieving spiritual perfection. And because the pure devotee is a transparent medium, the word addha, “directly,” is used, indicating that service rendered to the pure devotee goes directly to the lotus feet of Krsna, whereas service one whimsically offers to Krsna directly, bypassing the bona fide spiritual master, is not actually accepted and is therefore useless.
Those who actually desire the highest perfection, that of going back home, back to the eternal, blissful kingdom of Krsna, should study very carefully the example shown by Sri Vasudeva in these two verses. He indicates that although one cannot achieve liberation by directly worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can very easily achieve the perfection of life simply by a moment’s association with a pure devotee of Lord Krsna such as Narada Muni, the exalted Vaisnava saint among the demigods.
According to Srila Jiva Gosvami, the word visvato-bhayat indicates that Vasudeva very much feared the curse of the brahmanas. As one can become perfect by worshiping the Vaisnavas, by displeasing the Vaisnavas one can bring about all misfortune. Thus Vasudeva feared the curse delivered by the brahmanas at Pindaraka-tirtha.