Bhakti Sandarba Lesson 9

Lesson 9, Texts 114-120: SB discloses Bhakti’s essential nature as complete methodology to realize the Absolute Truth. PPT and recordings of this class are available at

Discussion Highlights:
=> Bhakti established through the six scriptural criteria.
=> Bhakti is one of the 10 primary subjects of SB.
=> Indeed, SB was manifested to reveal bhakti.

Review from last class:
One has to come to bhakti level out of all yogas such as Karma Yoga, Jnana yoga, Dhyana Yoga…etc. Bhakti is independent of all other yogas.
Bhakti is ones instrinsic duty, just like one has duties to family svadharmas, Bhakti is paro dharma which takes precedence over all other dharmas.

Today’s class:
Text 114: Bhakti’s essential nature as complete methodology
Using Chatusloki SB

Krishna prema bhakti, those of us who do not have natural affection for Sri Krishna through sadana bhakti.
Bhakti is the component of His internal potency
We the living entities are His marginal potency

6 scriptural criteria to establish bhakti:
1) An analysis of the beginning and concluding statements of a specific scriptural text
SB 1.1.1: Janmadi asya yathaha … Satyam param dhimahi – message here is we meditate on the lotus feet of the supreme Lord. This is the beginning and ending message of Srimad Bhagavatam.

Bhakti is indicated by meditating on Supreme, we fix our mind and senses in serving the Supreme Lord.

2) Repetition of the principle topic throughout the text
Throughout SB in every chapter Bhakti is established. (not only beginning and ending thoughout SB)

3&4) Bhakti is shown to be the abhidheya and the result to be obtained by following that process
Result is Krishna prema bhakti, which is obtained through Bhakti

5) To examine what subject has been glorified throughout the text
For sadakas Sadana bhakti propels to Krishna Prama Bhakti.

6) To establish scriptural conclusion thru logical argument

“A person who is not devoted to the Lord because of the influence of the Lord’s deluding energy, Maya, succumbs to forgetfulness, misapprehension, and fear arising out of absorption in that which is secondary to the Lord. Therefore, the intelligent should worship the Lord with exclusive devotion, considering their teacher as their worshipful deity and object of love.” [SB 11.2.37]

Only way the fire of material existence is extinguished by the process of bhakti yoga

Text 115: Bhakti is one of the ten primary subjects of SB
Out is these 10 topics sarga, visarga, uti, posana…etc.

dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ
 vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadaṁ tāpa-trayonmūlanam
śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-muni-kṛte kiṁ vā parair īśvaraḥ
 sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate ’tra kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt
“Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this BhāgavataPurāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhāgavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyāsadeva[in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhāgavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.” [SB 1.1.2]

Catuh-sloki Bhagavatam: 2.9.33-36
“A person who is searching after the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, most certainly search for it up to this, in all circumstances, in all space and time, and both directly and indirectly.” [SB 2.9.36]

Prior to speaking catuh-sloki, the Lord declared He would expound only 4 topics—jnana, the knowledge of the Absolute; vijnana, realization of the same; rahasya, the confidential mystery of pure love of the Lord (prema-bhakti); and tad-anga(sadhana-bhakti), the practice of devotion as a component part of that love. [2.9.31]

Universal pervasion of bhakti
i. Bhakti is established in all scriptures
ii. All living beings are eligible to perform bhakti
iii. Bhakti is performed throughout the universe by various devotees
iv. Bhakti can be performed by all the senses and the mind
v. Bhakti can be performed with all objects
vi. Bhakti can be rendered thru all kinds of activities
vii. Bhakti is executed thru all types of prescribed duties
viii. Bhakti is the process to obtain all varieties of results

Eternality of bhakti
i. Bhakti is established at the beginning of creation
ii. Bhakti is present during the 4 types of annihilation (final annihilation is when we don’t have to come back to this material world, even after going back to spiritual world, bhakti continues)
iii. Bhakti is present in all the yugas
iv. Bhakti is performed in all stages of life

Only bhakti meets the criteria of true methodology
Karma-, säìkhya-, jïäna-, mystic-yoga, etc., all have obligatory qualifications to take to those respective paths, but anyone under any circumstances can directly take to the path of bhakti

Brahma instructed Narada: “With a view in mind as to how humanity will develop bhakti to the Supreme Lord Hari, the Soul and fountainhead of everyone, you should describe SB.” [2.7.52]

Text 116: SB was manifested to reveal Bhakti
Narada also instructed Vyasa in the same way to facilitate the manifestation of SB

“O greatly fortunate Vyasa, your vision is infallible. Your fame is pure. You are truthful and of firm vows. Therefore, to liberate all living beings from material bondage, you should reflect in trance on the activities of the Lord, who performs wonderful feats.” [SB 1.5.13]

Texts 117-120
“O Vyasa, your knowledge is vast. Please describe exclusively the pastimes of the Lord, by which the scholars thirst for knowledge is quenched. Those who are repeatedly crushed by the miseries of material existence can be freed from torment only by aural reception of these topics, not by any other means.” [SB 1.5.40]

Krishna to Uddhav in Uddhav Gita: “Devotion to Me is the greatest gain.” [11.19.40]
Vyasa pondered within himself: “Or is it that I have not sufficiently delineated the principles of bhägavata-dharma? These principles alone are dear to the swan-like devotees and also to the Lord Krsna.” [SB 1.4.31]

Comments, Q&A:

Comments: Bhakti like chanting (kirtana) can be performed in hell also to attain the spiritual world as per Nrsimha Purana. The Lord is satisfied only by Bhakti and not by being a Brahmana, devata, sage, good conduct, charity, austerity, worship, cleanliness or vows – as told by Prahlada to the sons of demons.

Bhakti can be performed with all objects – can you please elaborate on this point just like computer professional can use the skill for online preaching, one can sing kirtana, one can prepare prasadam, like that apply ones inherent talent to serve the Lord.

1. Criteria 6, – SB 11.2.37, the negative way of proving Bhakti reminds me one comment from HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj that Bhakti is upstream battle if you do not climb up, you come down.

2. Verse 115 – Srila Prabhupada said Important and only basic quality for devotee is submisiveness.

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