7-Minute Bhagavatam

7-Minute Bhagavatam

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.18-19
by
Gopiparanadhana Dasa
Language 
English
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Transcript 


Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.18 and 1.2.19
Continuing the explanation of the second chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with verse eighteen:
naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu
 nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
bhagavaty uttama-śloke
 bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
“By regular attendance in classes on the Bhāgavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.”
Once one begins to develop some taste for hearing and chanting about the Personality of Godhead, the process recommended by Sūta Gosvāmī continues with practicing service to the book and the devotees who belong to Bhagavān. Nityam means “daily.” To be effective, the essential activities of sādhana-bhakti should be engaged in every day, as a matter of disciplined routine. Devotees who accept this discipline, avoiding sins and offenses, make real progress.
Śrī Sūta here indicates the next important mark of advancement, niṣṭhā, the stage of firm determination and steadiness of mind. That stage is only halfway to perfection and does not yet awaken ecstatic love, but Sūta Gosvāmī does refer to it as naiṣṭhikī bhakti. Sincere practice of bhāgavata-sevā gradually frees an aspirant from the lust, envy, and greed that hold him in illusion and hinder his enthusiasm. This purification of the heart, called anartha-nivṛtti, is complete when almost no contamination remains. Then the niṣṭhā stage is reached. Subtle traces of dirt in the heart, especially deeply ingrained attitudes that are offensive to the Supreme Lord’s holy names, will persist in diminishing part until the devotee achieves rati, real attachment to the Lord’s personality. But despite these traces, reaching niṣṭhā is a substantial achievement; from that point on the devotee faces little risk of falldown, and attaining his final goal is only a matter of time.
Now verse nineteen:
tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ
 kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
ceta etair anāviddhaṁ
 sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati
“As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature’s modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire, and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy.”
Before a devotee becomes steady in his determination to achieve Kṛṣṇa, he is still more or less subject to being attacked by urges which pierce the heart like sharp arrows. But after attaining strong trust in the process, a devotee can develop real taste for the sweetness of hearing, chanting, and other services. This is the next stage, called ruci. His mind then becomes peaceful. Prior to reaching this stage of niṣṭhā, a neophyte devotee will be too disturbed in his heart to feel satisfied with himself and the world, what to speak of enjoying the taste of glorifying Kṛṣṇa. To the extent he is still affected by passion he will be pulled by desire, and as much as he is still influenced by ignorance he will waste time and indulge in lamentation.
At niṣṭhā a devotee is fixed in goodness with very little mixture of the lower modes. With further progress the presence of rajas and tamas will become zero, leaving him in pure goodness, the same spiritual substance that comprises the Supreme Lord’s body and His eternal abode. Because the devotee’s heart then harbors no more traces of selfish desire, it is finally a fit place for revelation of the Supreme Person in all His glory.