In this purport, Srila Prabhupada described the Bhakti-sandarbha in these words: The fifth Sandarbha is called Bhakti-sandarbha, and in this book there is a discussion of how devotional service can be directly executed, and how such service can be adjusted, either directly indirectly.
In the course of this discussion it is emphatically and repeatedly explained that devotional service to the Lord must be executed under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master. The qualifications of such a spiritual master are discussed at great length and indeed, association with such an advance devotee is explained as the actual cause of engagement in devotional service.
This third volume begins with a discussion of how association with devotee is the best means for advancement in spiritual life. Although other practices are prescribed for making advancement on the path back home, back to Godhead, the association of devotees is described as the best means for quickly attaining the mercy of the lord. The mercy of the lord is easily attained when one develops love for him, and such love is quickly aroused in the association of devotees. Although the lord is fully independent, He comes under the control of a devotee who has unalloyed love for him.
From his childhood Jiva Gosvami was greatly fond of Srimad-Bhagavatam. He later came to Navadvipa to study Sanskrit, and, following in the footsteps of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, he circumambulated the entire Navadvipa-dhama. After visiting Navadvipa-dhama he went to Benares to study Sanskrit under Madhusudana Vacaspati, and after finishing his studies in Benares he went to Vrndavana and took shelter of his uncles, Sri Rupa and Sanatana.
In a purport of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Srila Prabhupada talks about Srila Jiva Gosvami and his literature: In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (195) it is said that Srila Jiva Gosvami was formerly Vilasa-manjari gopi. From his very childhood Jiva Gosvami was greatly fond of Srimad-Bhagavatam. He later came to Navadvipa to study Sanskrit, and, following in the footsteps of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, he circumambulated the entire Navadvipa-dhama. After visiting Navadvipa-dhama he went to Benares to study Sanskrit under Madhusudana Vacaspati, and after finishing his studies in Benares he went to Vrndavana and took shelter of his uncles, Sri Rupa and Sanatana. This is described in the Bhakti-ratnakara.
As far as our information goes, Srila Jiva Gosvami composed and edited at least twenty-five books. They are all very much celebrated and they are listed as follows: (1) Hari-namamrta-vyakarana, (2) Sutra-malika, (3) Dhatu-sangraha, (4) Krsnarca-dipika, (5) Gopala-virudavali, (6) Rasamrta-sesa, (7) Sri Madhava-mahotsava, (8) Sri Sankalpa-kalpavrksa, (9) Bhavartha-sucaka-campu, (10) Gopala-tapani-tika, (11) a commentary on the Brahma-samhita, (12) a commentary on the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, (13) a commentary on the Ujjvala-nilamani, (14) a commentary on the Yogasara-stava, (15) a commentary on the Gayatri-mantra, as described in the Agni Purana, (16) a description of the Lords lotus feet derived from the Padma Purana, (17) a description of the lotus feet of Srimati Radharni (18) Gopala-campu (in two parts) and (19-25) seven sandarbhas: the Krama-, Tattva-, Bhagavat-, Paramatma-, Krsna-, Bhakti- and Priti-sandarbha.
After the disappearance of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami in Vrndanana, Srila Jiva Gosvami became the acarya of all the Vaisnavas in Bengal, Orissa and the rest of the world, and it is he who used to guide them in their devotional service. In Vrndavana he established the Radha-Damodara temple.
When Jiva Gosvami was still present, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami compiled his famous Caitanya-caritamrta. Later, Srila Jiva Gosvami inspired Srinivasa Acarya, Narottama dasa Thakura and Duhkhi Krsnadas to preach Krsna consciousness in Bengal. Jiva Gosvami was informed that all the manuscripts that had been collected from Vrndanava and sent to Bengal for preaching purposes were plundered near Visnupura, in Bengal, but later he received the information that the book had been recovered.
Sri Jiva Gosvami awarded the designation Kaviraja to Ramacandra Sena, a disciple of Srinivasa Acarya's and to Ramacandra's younger brother Govinda. While Jiva Gosvami was alive, Srimati Jahnava-devi, the peasure potency of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, went to Vrndavana with a few devotes. Jiva Gosvami was very kind to the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Whoever went to Vrndavana he provided with a residence and prasadam.
In the Caitanay-caritamrta Madhya-lila (1.42-43) it is written: Sri Rupa Gosvami's nephew, Srila Jiva Gosvami, has compiled so many books on devotional service that there is no counting so many books on devotional service that there is no counting them. In Sri Bhagavata-sandarbha, Srila Jiva Gosvami has written conclusively about the ultimate end to devotional service.
In this purport, Srila Prabhupada described the Bhakti-sandarbha in these words: The fifth Sandarbha is called Bhakti-sandarbha in these words: The fifth Sandarbha is called Bhakti-sandarbha, and in this book there is a discussion of how devotional service can be directly executed, and how such service can be adjusted, either directly or indirectly. There is a discussion of the knowledge of all kinds of scripture, the establishment of the Vedic institution of Varnasrama, bhakti as superior to fruitive activity, and so forth. It is also stated that without devotional service even a brahmana is condemned. There are discussions of the process of karma-tyaga (the giving of the results of karma to the supreme personality of Godhead), and the practices of mystic yoga and philosophical speculation, which are deprecated as simply hard labor.
Worship of the demigods is discouraged, and worship of a Vaisnava is considered exalted. No respect is given to the non devotees. There are discussions of how one can be liberated even in this life (jivan-mukta), Lord Siva as a devotee, and how a bhakta and his devotional service eternally exist. It is stated that through bhakti one can attain all success because bhakti is transcendental to the material qualities. There is a discussion of how the self is manifest through bhakti. There is also a discussion of the self's bliss, as well as how bhakti, even imperfectly executed, enables one to attain the lotus feet of the Supreme personality of Godhead.
Unmotivated devotional service is highly praised, and an explanation is given of how each devotee can achieve the platform of unmotivated service by association with other devotees. There is a discussion of the differences between the maha-bhagavata and the ordinary devotee, the symptoms of philosophical speculation, the symptoms of self-worship, or ahangrahopasana, the symptoms of devotional service, the symptoms of imaginary perfection, the acceptance of regulative principles of hearing, chanting, remembering and serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offenses is worship, offensive effects, prayers, engaging oneself as an eternal servant of the lord, making friendships with the lord and surrendering everything for his pleasure. There is also a discussion of raganuga-bhakti (spontaneous love of Godhead), of the specific purpose of becoming a devotee of Lord Krsna, and a comparative study of other perfectional stages.
This third volume begins with a discussion of how association with devotees is the best means for advancement is spiritual life. Although other practices are prescribed for making advancement on the path back home, back to Godhead, the association of devotees is described as the best means for quickly attaining the mercy of the lord. The mercy of the lord is easily attained when one develops love for him, and such love is quickly aroused in the association of devotees. Although the lord is fully independent, he comes under the control of a devotee who has unalloyed love for him.
Love for the supreme personality of Godhead cannot be attained by mere cultivation of knowledge, performing austerities, giving charity and performing other pious acts, or practicing the eightfold yoga system. Only by devotional service can love for the lord by awakened and that devotional service is attained by the association of the lord's devotees. Indeed, worship of the lord's devotees is declared by the lord himself to be superior to worship of the lord.
Next, the author describes the glories of the devotees, pointing out that a devotee of the lord is in a transcendental position, beyond the three modes of material nature. Therefore, a devotee should never be considered as low-born or possessing bodily defects. Even if a devotee fails to perform his mundane duties properly, or even if he is sometimes found to be acting in an abominable manner, he should still be considered saintly because he is situated in devotional service.
In Bhakti-sandarbha, it is conclusively shown that devotional service to the lord is life's ultimate goal and that there is no activity or path superior to or equal to devotional service. Devotional service is divided into nine categories, beginning with hearing next, form, qualities and pastimes of the supreme personality of godhead. Who should one hear from? One should always hear about the lord from the lips of a pure devotee.
Chanting of the holy names of the lord are then discussed, and in the course of this discussion, the ten offenses to chanting the holy names are explained tin detail. Many quotes from a variety of Vedic literatures are presented to confirm the fact that in this age of kali, the chanting of the holy names of the lord is the only means for attaining success in devotional service. Indeed, whatever could be attained by meditation, performance of sacrifices and worship of the Deity in the temple in other ages can be easily attained in the age of Kali simply by chanting the holy names of the lord.
The other activities of devotional service are then discussed and the great merit of residing in a holy abode of the lord, especially Mathura, is highlighted. Next, worship of the deity is discussed at great length and it is explained that for those who are still materially infected, worship of the deity is most essential for purification. In the course of this discussion, the observance of Ekadasi is talked about in great detail.
Thereafter, offering obeisance's to the lord, acting as the lord's servant, making friendship with the lord, and full self-surrender are discussed, one after another. Raganuga-bhakti, devotional service spontaneously performed with great attachment to the lord, is the final subject of this book. Raganuga-bhakti is discussed at great length and it is explained that if one is spontaneously attracted to the lord even out of lust, anger, hatred or fear, he will attain the supreme destination.
|Anuccheda 240||No method of spiritual advancement is better than the association of devotees.||3|
|Anuccheda 241||Association with the lord's devotees is the primary way to bring the lord under one's control.||7|
|Anuccheda 242||One cannot achieve the lord by other processes||11|
|Anuccheda 243||Even if one is not situated in transcendental knowledge, by associating with devotees he attains the goal of life.||15|
|Anuccheda 244||By serving great devotees, one is enabled to develop transcendental ecstasy in serving the personality of Godhead.||17|
|Anuccheda 245||One who does not associate with devotees is no better than an ass or a cow.||21|
|Anuccheda 246||One who associates with a devotee is never attached to the material body or bodily relationships.||25|
|Anuccheda 247||One should appropriately worship the Vaisnavas for the value of their association has no comparison.||27|
|Anuccheda 248||Hearing the glories of the lord.||47|
|Anuccheda 249||Those who hear about the transcendental form of the lord accept devotional service to him and are never separated from him.||49|
|Anuccheda 250||Descriptions of hearing about the transcendental qualities of the lord.||53|
|Anuccheda 251||In an assembly of pure devotees, there is discussion only of the qualities forms, and pastimes of the supreme personality of Godhead.||59|
|Anuccheda 252||Those who are not interested in hearing the glories of the lord are killers of their own souls.||61|
|Anuccheda 253||Descriptions of the lord's pastimes are extremely attractive.||67|
|Anuccheda 254||The pastimes of the lord and his pastime incarnations.||71|
|Anuccheda 255||Hearing of the pastimes of the supreme personality of Godhead is glorified in the prayers by the personified Vedas.||75|
|Anuccheda 256||Hearing the lord's holy names.||81|
|Anuccheda 257||The glories of Srimad-Bhagavatam and the message of Godhead.||85|
|Anuccheda 258&259||Hearing of the lord's pastimes brings great glory and great happiness.||89|
|Anuccheda 260||Hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam is the best kind of hearing.||93|
|Anuccheda 261||Srimad-Bhagavatam is the essence of all Vedanta philosophy.||95|
|Anuccheda 262||Hearing the holy name of the supreme and hearing description of him brings the greatest benefit.||97|
|Anuccheda 263||One who chants the lord's holy name will fall in love with the supreme lord.||105|
|Anuccheda 264||Nothing is more purifying than chanting the holy name which makes one remember the lord's transcendental qualities.||113|
|Anuccheda 265||The supreme importance of chanting the holy name of the lord and the process of chanting.||115|
|Anuccheda 266||No one can describe all of the glories of the holy name.||151|
|Anuccheda 267||Glorification of the transcendental qualities of the lord.||155|
|Anuccheda 268||Glorification of the transcendental pastimes of the lord.||157|
|Anuccheda 269||One should always chant and hear the glories of the supreme lord.||159|
|Anuccheda 270||By engaging in kirtana even the most fallen souls of kali-yuga attain the mercy of the supreme personality of Godhead.||169|
|Anuccheda 271||Those who are advanced worship the age of kali-yuga because of its prominence of Sankirtana.||175|
|Anuccheda 272||The glories of kirtana.||177|
|Anuccheda 273||Great souls pray that they may take birth in kali-yrga and engage in kirtana.||181|
|Anuccheda 274||In kali-yuga, people will not worship the supreme lord despite the great benefit of chanting the holy names.||193|
|Anuccheda 275||Further descriptions of the good effects of kirtana.||197|
|Anuccheda 276||Chanting is more powerful than meditation which depends on a pure heart.||201|
|Anuccheda 277||The supreme personality of Godhead directly appears before a devotee who meditates on him.||205|
|Anuccheda 278||The different stages of meditation on the lord's qualities, associates, service, and pastimes.||209|
|Anuccheda 279||When one thinks only of the lord's pastimes and other features and does not think of anything else, that is Samadhi.||217|
|Anuccheda 280||Those who sere the lord with devotion as well as meditate on him greatly please him and become purified immediately.||219|
|Anuccheda 281||Service to the lord's feet is boon most cherished by the liberated souls.||223|
|Anuccheda 282||The transcendental lord is the proper object of devotional service.||225|
|Anuccheda 283||Included within serving the lord's feet are worshipping the deity and visiting the places that are dear to the lord.||227|
|Anuccheda 284||The chanting of mantras and the performance of devotional service should be performed according to vedic injunctions.||251|
|Anuccheda 285||One may honour the demigods by properly considering their position in relation to the supreme lord.||265|
|Anuccheda 286||The processes of worshipping the lord's abode and his associates, and worshipping his deity.||279|
|Anuccheda 287||By pleasing the supreme personality of Godhead one pleases all living entities.||313|
|Anuccheda 288||The lord resides with every living being, in his heart, as paramatma.||315|
|Anuccheda 289||The supersoul in every body gives the individual soul intelligence and is manifested to him according to the development of his consciousness.||317|
|Anuccheda 290||Deity worship is the best means of spiritual advancement for those who have the fault of dealing with each other disrespectfully.||319|
|Anuccheda 291||The lord is not pleased by the deity worship of one who is envious of the authorized devotees.||323|
|Anuccheda 292||A qualified brahmana is the best kind of person within this material world.||325|
|Anuccheda 293||The brahmanas who preach the glories of the lord throughout the entire world are worshipable even for Krsna||327|
|Anuccheda 294||Worship of the deity of the supreme personality of Godhead is the best kind of worship.||329|
|Anuccheda 295||Further descriptions of deity worship.||335|
|Anuccheda 296||Description of offering foodstuffs to the lord and the process of chanting japa.||349|
|Anuccheda 297||One who simply engages in devotional service with no consideration of fruitive results attains Me.||353|
|Anuccheda 298||The process of deity worship is appropriate for all.||355|
|Anuccheda 299||One should observe Sri Krsna-janmastami, Karttika-vrata, Ekadasi, Magha-snana and other auspicious vows.||363|
|Anuccheda 300||Vaisnaas should carefully avoid committing offenses on the path of serving the lord's deity form.||383|
|Anuccheda 301||Disrespect to great souls destroys everything.||387|
|Anuccheda 302||One who commits an offense at the lotus feet of a Vaisnava will be vanquished without delay.||389|
|Anuccheda 303||If one foolishly offends a devotee, one should try to attain the mercy of the supreme personality of Godhead.||391|
|Anuccheda 304||After a thousand births one comes to understand that one is the servant of the lord, and engages in devotional service.||405|
|Anuccheda 305||Worship of the lord that is performed with the activities of service is the best kind of worship.||411|
|Anuccheda 306||Description of thinking of the lord as ones friend.||413|
|Anuccheda 307||The supreme personality of Godhead comes under the full control of the pure devotees.||421|
|Anuccheda 308||People who are peaceful and pure only keep friendship with devotees of the lord, and they alone can very easily go back home to Godhead.||423|
|Anuccheda 309||Complete surrender means offering everything one has for the sake of the lord.||425|
|Anuccheda 310||The different features of vaidhi bhakti are meant for different kinds of people like different kinds of medicines.||437|
|Anuccheda 311||In raganuga-bhakti one considers that he will only enjoy life with the lord, the real source of love and happiness.||449|
|Anuccheda 312||One performing raganuga-bhakti naturally observes the prohibitions and injunctions of vaisnava sastra which have the pleasure of the lord as their only goal.||451|
|Anuccheda 313||Generally it is not possible, even for the great impersonalists, to merge into the existence of the lord.||479|
|Anuccheda 314||Sisupala blasphemed the lord from the very beginning of his childhood until his death.||481|
|Anuccheda 315||Those who have taken shelter of the material nature don not have the power to blaspheme or offend a person whose form, qualities and other features are not material.||483|
|Anuccheda 316||The conditioned soul is bound by all kinds of dualities because he considers his material body to be his self and everything related to his body to be his.||487|
|Anuccheda 317||Because the supreme personality of Godhead is never troubled by blasphemy of any other offense, therefore one should meditate on him, somehow or other, by any means available.||493|
|Anuccheda 318||One may easily merge into the existence of the lord by being absorbed in thinking about him, even in enmity.||497|
|Anuccheda 319||The enemies of the lord merge into the effulgence emanating from the lord's transcendental form.||499|
|Anuccheda 320||One does not attain perfection merely by following the rules of vaidhi-bhakti.||503|
|Anuccheda 321||One may obtain the mercy of Krsna by becoming absorbed in remembering him with lust, fear, envy, familial relationship, great affection and by devotional service.||529|
|Anuccheda 322||Somehow or other one must consider the form of Krsna very seriously.||537|
|Anuccheda 323||One must somehow think of Krsna, whether in a friendly way, or inimically.||541|
|Anuccheda 324||If the path of thinking of the lord somehow or other is this powerful, then how powerful must be the path of raganuga-bhakti, where one thinks of the lord with love?||543|
|Anuccheda 325||Only lord Krsna is the object of raganuga-bhakti and the bestower of liberation to his enemies; his partial expansions do not give this perfection.||551|
|Anuccheda 326||Sri Uddhava refused to accept even the slightest part of jnana and yoga because he was a pure devotee.||571|
|Anuccheda 327||A pure devotee attains a very great result, not the small result obtained by jnana and yoga.||577|
|Anuccheda 328||Everything is easily obtainable for one who engages in devotional service.||581|
|Anuccheda 329||The devotees renounce so many attainments, but they cannot renounce the supreme lord.||587|
|Anuccheda 330||One should always fix his mind in attraction to devotional service, take shelter of the holy places where the devotees reside, and follow the exemplary activities of the devotees of the lord.||591|
|Anuccheda 331&332||For him who constantly meditates upon my presence within all persons, the bad tendencies of rivalry, envy, and abusiveness, along with false ego, are very quickly destroyed.||597|
|Anuccheda 333||Activities offered to the lord without personal motivation, even if they are externally useless, amount to the actual process of religion.||611|
|Anuccheda 334||Pure devotees of lord Krsna, who are like Sri Uddhava, find that lord Krsna is both the goal and the means to attain the goal.||615|
|Anuccheda 335||Sri Uddhava prays for undeviating attachment to the lord's lotus feet.||617|
|Anuccheda 336||Sri Uddhava asks by what process one should who desires liberation meditate upon the lord.||619|
|Anuccheda 337||Auspiciousness grater than that manifested in lord krsna was never manifested in any one of the many incarnations of the lord.||621|
|Anuccheda 338||The childhood pastimes of Krsna, such as his liberating the demoness putana, are so attractive that by hearing them one looses attachment to mundane topics and gradually develops devotional service.||623|
|Anuccheda 339||This confidential knowledge should be revealed to a person who has attained the mercy of his guru of the lord, not others.||327|
|Anuccheda 340||The path to perfection is to serve the devotees who are completely freed from all vice, for by this one gains affinity for hearing the message of Godhead.||629|