The Lord’s devotee is opposed to all vices, particularly gambling. He should also not be dependent on a favor from the king. A tale of Goswami Tulsidasji is worth a mention here.
Aphorism – 51 | Shandilya Bhakti Sutra-18
To wait for the king’s favor and gambling should be prohibited.
Purport of Aphorism 51
Story of Tulsidasji and Akbar
Once, the Mughal king called Akbar, invited Tulsidasji to join in his court. He tried to woe the great devotee of Lord Rama by promising him the position of “Jewel of the court”. But, Tulsidasji turned down the offer.
Instead, he sent message to the Mughal king, saying that he was already a respected courtier in the palace of Sri Rama. He said in his letter that he is serving the master of the Universe. Hence, the position that the king of Delhi is offering is comparable to a broken piece of glass.
Such was the faith of Goswami Tulsidasji on his Lord.
It is said that when person’s mind is dispersed by worldly desires, Bhakti cannot dawn. Thus, seeking exclusive favors of a high official or a king, is not recommended for a Bhakta. Because, the focus shifts from the Lord and gets attached to an ordinary person. Naturally such a person cannot qualify as a devotee in the first place.
Increased Account of Sins!
It is said in Bhakti, that whoever eats from the hands of a sinner, becomes a partner in sin.
A king is surrounded by worldly things. He holds a position of high authority. Naturally, in such a case, many types of sins are committed when it comes to cheating through politics. Lying and Blaming becomes the most spoken language.
Therefore, if anyone seeks the favor of the royal entourage, naturally sins of the royal house shall infect him.
Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, “It is better to embrace death than to seek the favors of the king.”
As one gambles, one is bound to become hard-hearted because a gambler only has his eyes on winning by hook or by crook. He loses all sensitivity and employs unfair means to win the game. Even after winning the game, his heart burns with greed and desire. Thus, his thirst for gambling is never quenched. Owing to this mentality, he loses all human values. He becomes a 2-legged animal.
Shandilya Bhakti Sutra Aphorism – 52
Is it the same to depend on Vasudeva, as one would wait upon the king? No, not at all. Vasudeva is our Supreme Self. He is the Manifested Form of Ishwara.
Purport of Aphorism 52
How is a Rich man different from God?
Many may argue. How is it different to depend on Vasudeva as opposed to depending on the king? Sutra 51, discussed earlier in this blog rejects royal services and favors. It should not be done.
But, we must keep in mind that depending on Vasudeva cannot be equated to depending on a mortal.
Vasudeva is the Supreme Lord Krishna. In the Bhagavatham, Sri Krishna is said to be “The very same Supreme Lord.” (कृष्णस्तु भगवान स्वयं). Sri Krishna or Vasudeva is the source of all manifest and unmanifest. He is purest of the pure, untainted by material energy.
On the other hand, a king is a representation of one of the energies of the Lord. He is a Vibhuti, which means a person endowed with certain minimal, but adorable powers.
It is important to know that all beings are invested with some of the Powers of the Lord.
However, there is no comparison between the source and the divested powers. There exists a difference between a small part of energy and the energetic. Energy is a part of the energetic, who is the primordial origin of all known and unknown energy.
The energy of the Lord, which is His direct manifested (not through a Vibhuti) power is said to be His internal potency or Lila Shakti. Bhakti is the direct aspect of Lila Shakti. Bhakti can never be compared to material dealings like favors from a mortal.
Shandilya Bhakti Sutra Aphorism – 53
That is the authentic Truth established in the authentic scriptures.
Purport of Aphorism 53
The Bhagavatham finally concludes, “All actions are performed to please Vasudeva. All goals are attempted so that we can reach Vasudeva. Yoga and other rituals have to finally take you to Vasudeva. All attainments end with the attainment of Vasudeva alone.”
Sri Rudra tells the Prachetas, (one of the main Prajapatis or progenitors of mankind): “He is indeed supremely dear to me, who has taken direct recourse to Bhagawan Vasudeva. Sriman Vasudeva (Vishnu) is beyond the three modes of Goodness (Sattva), Passion (Rajas) and Ignorance (Tamas).”
Further, the Bhagavatham reveals, “When we have steady devotion at the feet of Lord Vasudeva, one shall be endowed with crystal clear philosophical knowledge of the Supreme Divinity as well as easily brings aversion to petty worldly enjoyment.”
Shandilya Bhakti Sutra Aphorism – 54
वृष्णिषु श्रेष्ठ्येन तत्
To elevate the position of the Vrishni race, Sri Krishna has placed himself in the line of Vibhutis.
Purport of Aphorism 54
Benefit of Hearing the Pastimes of Yadu Dynasty
As per sage Parashara, and also in Vishnu Purana it is written: “Anyone who listens to the history of the race of the Yadus (Vrishni race), will be rid of impurity of the heart since this is the race of the Supreme Lord Vasudeva.”
Shandilya Bhakti Sutra Aphorism – 55
एवं प्रसिद्धेषु च
Bhakti remains the same, as applied to all incarnations of the Supreme Lord Vishnu.
Purport of Aphorism 55
Bhakti to Sri Rama, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana etc, all are one and the same. This is explained in one of the previous article as well. But, here we will take example with which we can relate to.
All incarnations of Lord Vishnu are considered to be the same Lord Vishnu without the slightest difference. Lord Vishnu and His expansions, and incarnations are non-different.
For example: When a judge is at home, he appears to be relaxed. His sons may interact with him like any other children interacting with their fathers. They may even joke or make fun of their father-judge.
But, when the judge attends court, he represents the law of the land. In that circumstance, he tolerates no joke or nonsense.
So, here the person is the same and possesses the same power. However, with respect to time, place and circumstance, he chooses to exercise certain powers. He uses them at a certain times and withdraws the power if there is no need to exhibit it.
Is Sri Narsimha more Powerful than Sri Krishna or Sri Rama?
Now with respect to the incarnations of Sriman Narayana-
In the Rama Avatara, Sri Rama, played the role of an ordinary man who appeared to be dependent on the monkeys for help. He appeared to be helpless.
On the other hand Lord Narasimha appeared before Hiranyakashyipu as the most powerful being and tore the demon’s stomach within no time.
One can never conclude upon the various dispositions that the Lord takes during His many pastimes. One can never compare Lord Rama as an ordinary man. He is the very same Vishnu who played the role of an apparent mortal.
In the same Ramayana, Sri Hanumanji reveals the secret of Lord Rama’s unassuming position.
He said, “If the Lord were not with me, how could I have burnt the whole city of Lanka to ashes? How could have we built the bridge to Lanka, over the ocean?”
Who can forget that the same ordinary looking Lord revived the dead monkeys in the battle and took them all back to Ayodhya after the killing of Ravana? An ordinary mortal could never dream of such a feat. All forms of the Supreme Lord is verily Vishnu. One should only trust the Shastra and its true followers and based on which they can safely conclude as to who is God and who is not.
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