Having been admitted to the path of Devotion, the followers of the path of Grace tend to render devotional service in attaining the spirit of service to God. Shree Madacharya Charan has enunciated in the Navaratnam treatise about the affirmation of Devotion by Divine service and has abated in a nutshell about The Prudence or The Discrimination, The Patience or Forbearance and The Refuge. But strengthening of devotional service is not possible unless one has distinctive knowledge of the Prudence or Discrimination, etc. hence Shree Acharya Charan has dwelt at length in prudence to Discrimination, Patience or fortitude and refuge in order to infuse strength in the divine service performed by his devotees. ShriMadacharya Charan has not described the prudence to discrimination, the patience or forbearance and the refuge in a general sense in this treatise but has elucidated them in specific definitional or technical sense. VIVEKADHAIRYASHRAYH
VIVEKADAIRYE SATATAM RAKSANIYE TATHASRYAH,
VIVEKASTU HARIH SARVAM NIJECCHATAH KARISYATI (2)(1)
One should always uphold the prudence or discrimination and the patience or forbearance. (For the attainment of these two), the resort, too, likewise is maintainable. The Lord will perform everything of His own accord. That the Lord is Hari. The remover or eradicator of disturbances is the first prudence or prudence or discretion. Hari is the eraser of his devotees sins and discrimination God alone grants both the mundane or terrestrial achievement accomplished with one’s own efforts as also those celestial tasks employed in the devotional service; hence the first and foremost prudence or discrimination is not to strive (for anything) by giving up devotional service. It is this, which has been explained or expressed in the couplet ‘CHINTAKAPI NA KARYA’. That is, nothing to worry about of the NAVARATNAM TREATISE.
How will God provide any accomplishment without offering prayer to him?
The Lord does not expect anybody’s prayer. He performs everything of his own will or according to the pure will of His devotees. Hence not to offer any prayer (for the fulfillment of an object) is the second prudence or discrimination. It is this, which has been represented in the ‘SARVESVATSCA SARVATMA’ of the NAVARATNAM TREATISE.
(Why should prayer be not offered time and again? For such inquisitiveness it has been exhorted ahead).
PRATHITE VA TATAH KIM SYAT SVAMYABHIPRAYA SAMSAYT
SARVATRA TASYA SARVAM HI SARVASAMARTHYAMEVA CA. (2)
Or because of doubt in the intention (of the Lord) what will even prayer result in? It is because all the things at all the places are His (God’s) and he does possess omnipotence.
Because we don’t get at the intention of the supreme Master, hence prayer leads to nowhere. God will perform (everything) of his own accord. If he does not will. He will not do (anything). Why should therefore, offering prayer harm one’s duty? To understand so, is the third prudence or discrimination.
All the things at all the places belong to God and God has the power to bestow every required thing. The thing, which is required, is traditionally given or bestowed by God himself. But the ignorant (individual believes that he has earned it for himself with his own endeavor. The initiated soul should comprehend that whatever he possessed before being initiated, was granted to him buy God alone, since he has now been admitted by God. He (God) alone will grant him (the initiated soul) all the objects without a prayer being offered for. Believing firmly so, only devotion service should be performed but one should make no efforts for them giving up devotional service. This is the Fourth prudence or discretion.
ABHIMANASCA SANTYAJYAH SVAMYADHINATVA BHAVANAT,
VISHESATASHCEDAJNA SYADANTAH KARANA GOCARAH. (3)
TADA VISHESAGATYADI BHVYAM BHINNAM TU DAIHIKAT
Regarding oneself under one’s supreme master one should give up pride born of egotism. Of the conscience experiences the specific command of the Lord regarding celestial service, one should accordingly perform the devotional service. The specific command of the Lord must be obeyed or observed in case to so quite apart from one’s physical relatives (wife and children) including one’s one self. (Otherwise- service should be performed according to the command of Shree Madacharya Charan).
After divine initiation one should be free the pride of self-ownership of one’s physique. Etc. has been dedicated to God; hence all of them are under the control of God. Nursing such a feeling, one always thinks oneself under the control of the Lord and feels all the tasks other than those perfumed for the service of the Lord as sacrilegious and all the tasks performed for the service of God make one feel one’s divine duty. Such a follower of the Path Of Grace performs only divine service and alienates himself from other tasks taking them to be undesirable.
This very idea has been expressed by Shrimad Prabhu Charan (Shree Gusanyee jee) in the explanation of this couplet “NIVEDANAM TU SMARTAVYAM”. Just as the self has been owned by for them. This itself is embodied in the exposition of the couplet ‘CHINTA KAPI NA KARYA’ of the treatise NAVARATNAM that is, one should give up terrestrial and metaphysical anxiousness while performing divine service with prudence or discrimination, etc. according to the command of Shree Acharya Mahaprabhu, if the Lord commandment should specifically be implemented or else let Shrimad Vallabhacharyaji’s command regarding service be obeyed.
About such an apprehension Shree Vallabhacharya Charan exhorts to remember that the Lord is immanent and intuitive. ‘Feelings thought conscience’ means to be acquainted by Lord in the dream or the devotee himself innately feels because of the heart being the dwelling place of the Lord. If the devotee is given the specific command by the Lord. Regarding his from or divine sports, the devotee should act accordingly otherwise Shrimad Vallabhacharya’s command should prevail. Lord’s specific commands, too, should be obeyed only when it is aside from the devotee’s physical relatives (wife and children) including one’s own self. This has been explicitly stated in the couplet ‘SEVAKRTIRGURO RAJNA BADHANAM VA HARICCHAYA’ of the NAVARATNAM TREATISE. Having surrendered oneself, the devotee keeping in mind his dedication, should, under God’s pleasure, engage himself in only those mundane pursuits, which are indispensable. Special mundane tasks shouldn’t be insistently performed.
This is the Sixth prudence or discrimination. (The devotional service calls for wealth. In the event of paucity of wealth, whether or not the provisions for divine service be arranged on credit?) In this regard Shrimad Vallabhacharya’s commands (in the next couplet).
AAPADGATYDI KARYESHU HATHASTYAHYASHCA SARVATHA. (4)
ANAAGRAHASHCA SARVATRA, DHARMADHARMAGRA DARSANAM,
VIVEKOYAM SAMAKHYATO DHAIRYAM TU VINIRUPPYATE, (5)
Insistence should be given up in all respects on the tasks in times of hardship. Without insisting on all the tasks one should weight and consider all the tasks of righteousness and unrighteousness, viz., first of all one should ascertain as to which one of the two tasks involves more righteousness and which one has more unrighteousness. Considering this the former should be adored and the latter be forsaken. I (Shrimadacharya Charan) have thus averred about the prudence or discrimination. Hence I now undertake to portray or explain patience or forbearance.
In the times of hardship, insistence on arranging provisions in accordance with the past tradition should totally by given up. One should also quite shun the insistence on performing devotional service according to traditional mode by borrowing (moneyed.). One should feel ratified on offering to God whatever the devotee dedicates to God observing the propriety of the path of Grace, God in person or in manifest form admits all that. When insistence is forbidden in celestial performance, then the question of insisting on mundane matters doesn’t at all arise.
This is the Seventh prudence or discrimination
There should be no insistence on all subjects appertaining to SMRTI and VEDAS. One should not at all insist on conducting oneself according to SMARTTA or SRAUTADIC duties leaving aside command should performed during the time other than the one employed in devotional service. The duties that are apart from the service of God should be looked upon with apathy.
This is the Eighth prudence or discrimination.
How to be apathetic towards vaidic duties?
For the removal of such a doubt Shree Madacharya Charan commands that one should foresee the righteous and the unrighteous. The performance, which might result in unrighteousness, should be forsaken. The duties-SMARTTA, SRAUTA (Vaidic) and divine –are progressively mightier. There is nothing improper of SMARTTA DHARMA is abandoned while performing Vaidic duty. Likewise in the observance of divine duties are given up, there is nothing inappropriate, as divine duty is the mightiest of all.
Considering so, one shouldn’t insistently pursue SMARTTA and Vaidic duties.
This path does not recognize the Lord’s command to act as authoritative.
For the preclusion of such an apprehension the devotees of God should perform actions, etc. In this way prudence or discrimination has been elaborated. Now Shrimadacharya Charan couplets Chittodvegam Vidhayapi of the Navaratnam treatise, patience or fortitude have been portrayed but Shrimadacharya Charan dwells at length upon it. Henceforth the characteristic of patience or forbearance is to stated.
TRIDUHKHASAHANAM DHAIRYAMAMRUTEH SARVATAH SADA
TAKRAVADDEHAVADBHAVYAM JADAVAD GOPABHARYAVAT. (6)
Patience or forbearance implies the perennial bearing of all the three types-the corporal, the sensual and the divine-of sufferings in every respect even if a pain like that of death is felt or till the life exists. Corporal pains should be borne like the loss of buffer milk.
In suffering sensual pain one should behave like jadabharat (a grate Indian saint) and in undergoing divine pains one should deport like the cowherdesses. While suffering all the three type of aforementioned discomforts, if the mind, the physique and the senses get perturbed, the devotional service is far from perfect. Hence for the accomplishment of the service it has been exhorted that all the three types of agonies should be borne.
The example of buffer milk has been cited as to the suffering of corporal pains. After the butter having been chummed out, the worthless buttermilk is spilled; it doesn’t cause any pain, similarly after the shedding of the attachment of blood or bodily relations (sons and wife, etc.) like the loss of buttermilk, the affrint, etc. Caused by them, is not painful. The divine assignment accomplished by physique is like the butter. Thinking so, one should have the feeling like that of butter in divine deeds. The example of jadabharat (a great saint) has been cited consuming the baring sensual sufferings like the lust and anger, etc. because of all the senses being immersed in divine feeling, jadabharat did not feel any pain due to his being insensitive to pain or pleasure.
One, who tends towards divine service, must take it for granted that all the senses are divine service. Lust and angered. Don’t torment one who is charged with divine reminiscence. Because of this understanding, it has been commanded that the feeling of jadabharat be hatched.
Now Shrimadacharya Charan gives instance about bearing divine agonies. One should nurse the feeling of cowherdesses when God wills the devotee to bear the fatal sufferings or when he delays in bestowing fruit in order to test the devotee. Just as those cowherdesses who were confined in their homes because of their lustful mind, hence they were fated to suffer, which delayed the fruit of divine association with God in Ras (the accumulation of supreme Bliss). When they failed to get a way out of their homes, they contemplated to meditate over God by closing their eyes. Due to separation from God they had to suffer in one moment as acutely as those condemned to KUMBHI PAKADIC hells for billions of years. Then on the eradication of the sin, the lord visited them in their contemplation or meditation, which they embraced and this showered upon them such a blissful pleasure, the one moment of which amounted to the heavenly bliss experienced in billions of years. Thereafter the elemental body immured by the three attributes expired and they attained God.
In this way one must bear the suffering with patience to forbearance conceiving that God will grant fruit after the fatalities or destined events have been consume.
Those cowherdesses who were free from attributive confinement were blessed with God’s proximity. God asked them again and again to return to their respective homes. Like the Yannapatni they were not distracted by other diversions. Bearing the anguish born of the probability of unfulfilment of their desired object or end, they made a reply according to the path of pietism but denied to go back to their homes. Thus one should bear the suffering born of delay (in obtaining fruit) and by reaming within the propriety of the path of Grace, one should patiently suffer believing that God will certainly endow the fruit.
Here with regard to the corporal afflictions to has been told as to how the affront caused by blood or bodily relations like the son or wife, etc. be borne. Shrimadacharya Charan has commanded in ‘NIBANDH’ (a book) to get the wife, etc. being favorable to serve the Lord, to do devotional service by himself if they are indifferent and to desert home of they are hostile. Should the home be forsaken in the even of the wife, etc. do not cause pain by their insulting deportment. For the solution of this doubt been commanded.
PRATIKARO YADRACCHATAH SIDDHA SCENNAGRAHI BHAVET,
BHARYADINAM TATHANYESAMA SATASCA KRAMAM SAHET. (7)
One should not insist on deserting one’s home if divine will bestows the solution of the suffering. One should bear the disrespect shown by one’s wife, by other persons and by the vicious or the ignoble.
One should not be bent upon forsaking one’s wife, etc., if, by God’s will, they are favorable or indifferent. If wife, etc. are inclined towards divine service, then one should get them to perform service of God and of they are apathetic, one should he do the devotional service? In neither case are they abandoning able. They are worth-abandoning if they create disturbance in the divine service by assuming country gesture, otherwise not, because of they are deliberately abandoned, they will be charged with anger and will show malice. It will, consequently, create hindrance in the devotional service.
On assuming the propriety of divine service the devotee may neglect or may not attend on persons. As a result if friends and other persons as well disparage him out of ill will, they should be tolerated. Even if one’s brothers, etc. assume insulting stance because of envy in the distributions of wealth, etc., they too, should be tolerated.
If sensual discomfort is caused on account of giving up anti-service worldly enjoyment, the way regarding its tolerance has been shown (in the following couplet).
SAVAYAMINDRIYA KARYANI KAYAVANMANASA TYAJET,
ASHURENAPI KARTAVYAM SVASYASAMARTHYA BHAVANAT. (8)
The function of the senses through body, mind and word for ones enjoyment should be abandoned. The helpless should experience the sense of helplessness, that is, if one does not have the capability of bearing sufferings, one should suffer the pains feeling one’s helplessness (that there is no way out).
The function of the senses for one’s own enjoyment present impediments in divine service. Hence the functions of the senses should be abandoned, mind, word and deed. The senses should be weaned-away from the mundane matters and be tended towards super mundane ones. While one is not immersed in the other worldliness, one should till then tolerate the anguish caused by abandoning the wordiness. The delay because of fatality or cause by way of testing the devotee of the desired object is not achieved, in such a situation the embarrassment or unease so born should be borne taking it to be one’s incapability.
ASHAKYE HARIREVASTI SARVAMASRAYTO BHAVET
ETATSAHANAMATROKTAMASHRAYOTO NIRUPYATE. (9)
Only God is the prefecture in the state of helplessness (one should hatch such a feeling of resort). God’s resort accomplishes all. Here the form of patience or fortitude has been explained. The resort is henceforward enunciated.
When one’s helplessness is predominant, in that situation only God is the protector. When one thus wholly seeks his refuge, all the perfections naturally come to him (the seeker of refuge).
This is the form of patience or forbearance. Now ‘refuge’ is explained. In the paucity of prudence or discrimination and patience or fortitude one should have the feeling of seeking refuge, because God being the dispeller of all troubles of his devotees, compassionately fulfils all and everything. Divine refuge is all –accomplishing. By God’s resort even incapable becomes capable and vise-versa happens in the absence of refuge. Of refuge is sought without taking recourse to any means, of refuge is sought without taking recourse to any means, prudence or discrimination and patience or fortitude will, by God’s grace, be simultaneously blessed with.
Now the form of refuge or resort is stated.
AUHIKE PARALOKE CA SARVATHA SHARANAM HARIH
Only God is the refuge here and hereafter in every respect. One who has been admitted to the path of pietism and one who has been inclined to the service of God, his prime duty is the service of God. Hence the adoption of terrestrial and celestial means create disturbance in the devotional service. Lord’s refuge should, therefore, be sought for the mundane and the metaphysical achievements. But no other means excepting the service should be adopted. By so accepting, now resort is represented in deferent ways.
DUHKHAHANAU TATHA PAPE BHAYE KAMADYA PURANE. (10)
BHAKTADROHE BHAKTYABHAVE BHAKTAISCATIKRAME KRTE,
ASHAKYE VA SUSHAKYE VA SARVATHA SARANAM HARIH. (11)
In the emancipation of pain, in the state of sin and fear, in the fulfillment of desired objects, some devotee on being envious or self becoming malignant of some devotee, in the deficiency of pietism, when a devotee disrespects, in the state of one’s capability or incapability, God’s resort should, in all respects. Be sought.
The devotee of the path of Grace tending towards divine service should, in all respects, have a passion for God’s refuge nor allowing restlessness of mind because of corporal and sensual afflictions and so on. Even of before being inclined towards the path of pietism, some sinful deed might have been done out of laches or some sacrilegious act is committed after one has engaged himself in the divine service, then for its absolution one should feel strongly for the Lord’s resort only and should not atone for it, as atonement leads to the disappearance of religiosity of refuge of resort.
Lord’s resort should be sought in all kinds of frights as also for the fulfillment of all types of cherished objects, too. The feeling foreshorten refuge is imperative. If out of negligence, some devotee becomes malicious of one or vice versa happens. In the tasks, which are out of one’s capacity to perform a particular task leads to the disappearance of the feeling of resort. Hence the feeling for resort or Lord’s refuge should be hatched with all one’s being keeping in mind one’s identification with the Lord.
AHANKARAKRTE CAIVA POSYAPOSANA RAKSANE,
POSYATIKRAMANE CAIVATAHNTEVASYATI KRAME. (12)
ALAUKIKA MANAH SIDDHAU SARVARTHE SARANAM HARIH,
EVAM CITTE SADA BHAVYAM VACHA CA PARIKIRTAYETA. (13)
God is the only refuge in all respects-in showing vanity and in nourishing and guarding those who are worth-nourishing in the affront hurled by one’s wards (like wife, etc.) and on being insulted by one’s pupils, in the accomplishment of celestial mind and in all desired objects. One should always bear such a feeling in mind and heart and should remain reciting: SHREE KRISHNAH SARANAM MAMA In speech, too By human nature, if diabolical deportment out of vanity is meted out to a devotee or to any one else and on its knowledge later on this leads to repentance or remorse, in such a situation only God’s refuge should be aspired. On account of overindulgence of God, if vainglorious treatment is meted out to the Lord, then also to ward off that sinful act, one should seek Lord’s refuge. Of disrespect is shown by one’s dependants like the wife and the son, etc. while nursing and guarding them or by those who deserve being nourished or by ones, pupils, God’s refuge should be cherished and no indignation be demonstrated. For the accomplishment of the supernatural mind and in all respects, one should seek the refuge of God. One’s mind symbolizing knowledge, should always invoke divine refuge and should remain reciting SHREE KRISHNAH SARANAM MAMA. To cease such a recitation even for a moment is to invite devilish feelings.
Hence service with physique, feeling with mind and reciting SHREE KRISHNAH SARANAM MAMA with tongue should be adopted. Thus, triple type of refuge has been enunciated.
For cherished high objects God’s refuge should be invoked but in ordinary matters, what is the harm if other Gods (then Krishna) are adored? To eliminate such a doubt it is exhorted.
ANYASYA BHAJANAM TATRA SVATO GAMANAMEVA CA,
PRARTHANA KARYA MATREPE TATO ANYATRA VIVARJAYET. (14)
The devotees (of the path of Grace) should shun the adoration of any other (God), going there himself (for seeking his proximity) and praying to him for anything, whatsoever. Neither the worship of other God nor going to his place for this purpose is permissible. The spirit of refuge disappears due to the recitation of the name of any other God and seeking his proximity. Of such a doubt arises that it is not proper to offer prayer to God (asking for anything) but what’s the harm in praying to other God without going to or worshipping him for anything, if the need arises?
For the solution of this apprehension it is exhorted that just as one gives up the worship of other God and suns going to his place, similarly one should restrain himself from going other God for begging a small or a big thing. In the original text the word ‘VIVARJAYET’ means that in prayer should be offered at all.
It has been commanded to seek the refuge of God by surrendering all other divine duties and also leaving other Gods. Who knows whether or not the Lord will grant one’s desired object despite respecting one self to the Lord’s refuge? About such a doubt it has been exhorted (in the next couplet).
AVISHVASO KARTAVYAH SARVATAHA BADHAKASU SAH,
BRAHMASHTRA CHATAKAU BHAVYO PRAPTAM SEVET NIRMAMAH. (15)
One should not be skeptical as it is impending in all respects. Hence in faithlessness the devotee should have in mind the feeling of Brahmashtra-an infallible weapon deigned to Maghnath, the son of demon king Ravan by Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe according to the Hindu Mythology and in belief or faithfulness he should keep in mind the propriety of Chatak, a typical Indian bird supposed to drink water only of the rain falling in SVATI NAKSATRA, the fifteenth of the twenty seven constellations and God’s service should be rendered with self-abnegation with whatever is available.
One should disbelieve when it comes to the refuge of God. Disbelief is the greatest stumbling block. It leads to the loss of the spirit regarding resort. As to disbelief the feeling regarding the Brahashra should be kept in mind. God Hanuman, Lord Ram’s supreme devotee went to Lanka in search of Sita (the consort of Lord Ram) Brahmastra took Hanuman in its grip when thrown upon him but, disbelieving the power of Brahmashtra become totally ineffective. If other means (weapons) had not been used and Brahmashtra had been fully depended upon, the latter would have remained functional. Similarly, by losing faith In Lord’s refuge, it is rendered ineffectual.
Since the typical bird Chatak depends solely on the rain of Svati constellation, the clouds do send down rain and the ‘bird’ quenches its thirst. Likewise those who have deep faith in the divine refuge, the Lord grants them all the supernal perfections.
One should not specially strive for more. Rather he should serve God with whatever, as God wills, effortlessly comes to him without any attachment. Whatever comes to hand should all be utilized for devotional service and one should not cultivate egotistic tendency at all. It has been said that by adopting a Path other than that of Pure Grace, the duty of refuge disappears.
Then, the giving up of the necessary terrestrial and vaidic actions may lead to the doubt in the authenticity of the path. To drive away such a dilemma the way of performing terrestrial vaidic actions is exhorted (in the couplet that ensues).
YATHAKATHANCHIT KARYANI KURYA-DUCCANAYAPI,
KINVA PROKTENA BAHUNA SHARANAM BHAVAYEDHARIM. (16)
One should remain doing the high, low and other tasks some how or the other. What to say anything more. The Lord is the only refuge. Such a feeling or spirit should be conceived.
Necessary vaidic and mundane tasks should be performed in order to drive away the doubt of the persons that this Path is unreliable or unauthentic. Taking it to be Lord’s command that the mundane and the vaidic tasks should be done for the sake of proving reliability or authenticity of the Path of Grace and not as a part of one’s divine duty. In the treatise-PUSHTI PRAVAH MARYADA Shrimad Vallabcharyaji has exhorted that the devotees belonging to the Path of Pure Grace should feign mundane and vaidic performance and they shouldn’t consider them as a part of their own divine duty. Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita (the song divine) states:
‘Just as the ignorant acts by being attached to mundane matters, similarly the wise acts to teach other persons’ To say much more cannot be effective. Only refuge of the lord should be aspired after.
If all the duties are surrendered, it may lead to the possibility of committing sin. For the elimination of such a doubt, to has been commanded: Lord’s refuge should be cherished after. Lord Hari (Shree Krishna) is the eraser of all the pains and sins; he will drive away all the sins. This is what Lord Shree Krishna has exhorted to Arjuna Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita (the sing divine)
SARVA DHARMAN PARITYAJYA MAMEKAM SHARANAM VRAJ,
AHAM TVA SARVA PAPEHBYO MOKSAYISHYAMI MA SHUCAH.
Surrendering all duties, seek refuge in me alone. I shall absolve you (Arjuna) of all the sins; grieve not. After having explained the form of Lord’s refuge, he (Shrimad Vallabhacharya) concludes (about all-The prudence or discrimination, the patience or fortitude and the refuge or resort).
EVAMASHRAYANAM PROKTAM SARVESHA SARVADA HITAM,
KALAU BHAKTYADI MARGA HI DUHSADHYA ITI ME MATIH. (17)
Thus for the benefit of all the individual souls refuge (of Lord) has been exhorted. In the DARK AGE the paths like devotion, etc. are difficult to observe. Thus I (Shrimad Vallabhacharya Charan) aver.
In all the classes and in all the stages, four temporal divisions of human life, Lord’s refuge is always beneficial and bestows mundane and super mundane accomplishments without practicing any means.
This Dark Age predominant of sins owing to the destitute of means, the paths like those of devotion, etc. are very hard to maintain. Hence Lord’s refuge should be sought with all one’s being. Nothing else is worth doing.
In order to affirm his doctrine Shrimadacharya Charan has commanded: such is my conviction. Hence the devotees in the Path of Pure Grace should cherish only after Lord’s refuge and nothing else should be pursued.