Chapter Sixteen
Executing the Payo-vrata Process of Worship
As described in this chapter, because Aditi, the mother of the demigods, was very afflicted, her husband, Kaśyapa Muni, told her how to observe vows in austerities for the benefit of her sons.
Since the demigods were not visible in the heavenly kingdom, their mother, Aditi, because of separation from them, was very much aggrieved. One day after many, many years, the great sage Kaśyapa emerged from a trance of meditation and returned to his āśrama. He saw that the āśrama was no longer beautiful and that his wife was very morose. Everywhere in the āśrama, he saw signs of lamentation. The great sage therefore inquired from his wife about the well-being of the āśrama and asked her why she looked so morose. After Aditi informed Kaśyapa Muni about the āśrama’s well-being, she told him that she was lamenting for the absence of her sons. She then requested him to tell her how her sons could return and reoccupy their positions. She wanted all good fortune for her sons. Moved by Aditi’s request, Kaśyapa Muni instructed her in the philosophy of self-realization, the difference between matter and spirit, and how to be unaffected by material loss. But when he saw that Aditi was not satisfied even after he had given these instructions, he advised her to worship Vāsudeva, Janārdana. He assured her that only Lord Vāsudeva could satisfy her and fulfill all her desires. When Aditi then expressed her desire to worship Lord Vāsudeva, Prajāpati Kaśyapa told her about a process of worship known as payo-vrata, which is executed in twelve days. Lord Brahmā had instructed him how to satisfy Lord Kṛṣṇa by this process, and thus he advised his wife to observe this vow and its regulative principles.
śrī-śuka uvāca
evaṁ putreṣu naṣṭeṣu
deva-mātāditis tadā
hṛte tri-viṣṭape daityaiḥ
paryatapyad anāthavat
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam—in this way; putreṣu—when her sons; naṣṭeṣu—disappearing from their position; deva-mātā—the mother of the demigods; aditiḥ—Aditi; tadā—at that time; hṛte—because of being lost; tri-viṣṭape—the kingdom of heaven; daityaiḥ—by the influence of the demons; paryatapyat—began to lament; anātha-vat—as if she had no protector.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, when Aditi’s sons, the demigods, had thus disappeared from heaven and the demons had occupied their places, Aditi began lamenting, as if she had no protector.
ekadā kaśyapas tasyā
āśramaṁ bhagavān agāt
nirutsavaṁ nirānandaṁ
samādher virataś cirāt
ekadā—one day; kaśyapaḥ—the great sage Kaśyapa Muni; tasyāḥ—of Aditi; āśramam—to the shelter; bhagavān—greatly powerful; agāt—went; nirutsavam—without enthusiasm; nirānandam—without jubilation; samādheḥ—his trance; virataḥ—stopping; cirāt—after a long time.
After many, many days, the great powerful sage Kaśyapa Muni arose from a trance of meditation and returned home to see the āśrama of Aditi neither jubilant nor festive.
sa patnīṁ dīna-vadanāṁ
sabhājito yathā-nyāyam
idam āha kurūdvaha
saḥKaśyapa Muni; patnīm—unto his wife; dīna-vadanām—having a dry face; kṛta-āsana-parigrahaḥ—after accepting a sitting place; sabhājitaḥ—being honored by Aditi; yathā-nyāyam—according to time and place; idam āha—spoke as follows; kuru-udvaha—O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the best of the Kurus.
O best of the Kurus, when Kaśyapa Muni had been properly received and welcomed, he took his seat and then spoke as follows to his wife, Aditi, who was very morose.
apy abhadraṁ na viprāṇāṁ
bhadre loke ’dhunāgatam
na dharmasya na lokasya
mṛtyoś chandānuvartinaḥ
api—whether; abhadram—ill fortune; na—not; viprāṇām—of the brāhmaṇas; bhadre—O most gentle Aditi; loke—in this world; adhunā—at the present moment; āgatam—has come; na—not; dharmasya—of religious principles; na—not; lokasya—of the people in general; mṛtyoḥ—death; chanda-anuvartinaḥ—who are followers of the whims of death.
O most gentle one, I wonder whether anything inauspicious has now taken place in regard to religious principles, the brāhmaṇas or the people in general, who are subject to the whims of death.
There are prescribed duties for all the inhabitants of this material world, especially for the brāhmaṇas but also for the people in general, who are subject to the whims of death. Kaśyapa Muni wondered whether the regulative principles, which are meant for the well-being of everyone, had been disobeyed. He accordingly continued his inquiries for seven verses.
api vākuśalaṁ kiñcid
gṛheṣu gṛha-medhini
dharmasyārthasya kāmasya
yatra yogo hy ayoginām
api—I am wondering; —either; akuśalam—inauspiciousness; kiñcit—some; gṛheṣu—at home; gṛha-medhini—O my wife, who are attached to household life; dharmasya—of the principles of religion; arthasya—of the economic condition; kāmasya—of satisfaction of desires; yatra—at home; yogaḥ—the result of meditation; hi—indeed; ayoginām—even of those who are not transcendentalists.
O my wife, who are very much attached to household life, if the principles of religion, economic development and satisfaction of the senses are properly followed in household life, one’s activities are as good as those of a transcendentalist. I wonder whether there have been any discrepancies in following these principles.
In this verse, Aditi has been addressed by her husband, Kaśyapa Muni, as gṛha-medhini, which means “one who is satisfied in household life for sense gratification.” Generally, those who are in household life pursue sense gratification in the field of activities performed for material results. Such gṛhamedhīs have only one aim in life—sense gratification. Therefore it is said, yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham: [SB 7.9.45] the householder’s life is based on sense gratification, and therefore the happiness derived from it is very meager. Nonetheless, the Vedic process is so comprehensive that even in householder life one can adjust his activities according to the regulative principles of dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa. One’s aim should be to achieve liberation, but because one cannot at once give up sense gratification, in the śāstras there are injunctions prescribing how to follow the principles of religion, economic development and sense gratification. As explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.9), dharmasya hy āpavargyasya nārtho ’rthāyopakalpate: “All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain.” Those who are in household life should not think that religion is meant to improve the process of the householder’s sense gratification. Household life is also meant for advancement in spiritual understanding, by which one can ultimately gain liberation from the material clutches. One should remain in household life with the aim of understanding the ultimate goal of life (tattva jijñāsā). Then household life is as good as the life of a yogi. Kaśyapa Muni therefore inquired from his wife whether the principles of religion, economic development and sense gratification were being properly followed in terms of the śāstric injunctions. As soon as one deviates from the injunctions of the śāstra, the purpose of household life is immediately lost in confusion.
api vātithayo ’bhyetya
kuṭumbāsaktayā tvayā
gṛhād apūjitā yātāḥ
pratyutthānena vā kvacit
api—whether; —either; atithayaḥ—guests who come without an invitation; abhyetya—coming to the home; kuṭumba-āsaktayā—who were too attached to the family members; tvayā—by you; gṛhāt—from the house; apūjitāḥ—without being properly welcomed; yātāḥ—went away; pratyutthānena—by standing up; —either; kvacit—sometimes.
I wonder whether because of being too attached to the members of your family, you failed to properly receive uninvited guests, who therefore were not welcomed and went away.
It is the duty of a householder to receive guests, even if a guest be an enemy. When a guest comes to one’s home, one should properly receive him by standing up and offering him a seat. It is enjoined, gṛhe śatrum api prāptaṁ viśvastam akutobhayam: if even an enemy comes to one’s home, one should receive him in such a way that the guest will forget that his host is an enemy. According to one’s position, one should properly receive anyone who comes to one’s home. At least a seat and a glass of water should be offered, so that the guest will not be displeased. Kaśyapa Muni inquired from Aditi whether disrespect had been shown to such guests, or atithis. The word atithi refers to one who comes without an invitation.
gṛheṣu yeṣv atithayo
nārcitāḥ salilair api
yadi niryānti te nūnaṁ
gṛheṣu—at home; yeṣu—which; atithayaḥ—uninvited guests; na—not; arcitāḥ—welcomed; salilaiḥ api—even by offering a glass of water; yadi—if; niryānti—they go away; te—such household life; nūnam—indeed; pheru-rāja—of jackals; gṛha—the homes; upamāḥ—like.
Homes from which guests go away without having been received even with an offering of a little water are like those holes in the field which are the homes of jackals.
In a field there may be holes made by snakes and mice, but when there are very big holes, it may be supposed that jackals live there. Certainly no one goes to take shelter in such homes. Thus the homes of human beings where atithis, uninvited guests, are not properly received are like the homes of jackals.
apy agnayas tu velāyāṁ
na hutā haviṣā sati
tvayodvigna-dhiyā bhadre
proṣite mayi karhicit
api—whether; agnayaḥ—fires; tu—indeed; velāyām—in the fire sacrifice; na—not; hutāḥ—offered; haviṣā—by ghee; sati—O chaste woman; tvayā—by you; udvigna-dhiyā—because of some anxiety; bhadre—O auspicious woman; proṣite—was away from home; mayi—when I; karhicit—sometimes.
O chaste and auspicious woman, when I left home for other places, were you in so much anxiety that you did not offer oblations of ghee into the fire?
yat-pūjayā kāma-dughān
yāti lokān gṛhānvitaḥ
brāhmaṇo ’gniś ca vai viṣṇoḥ
sarva-devātmano mukham
yat-pūjayā—by worshiping the fire and brāhmaṇas; kāma-dughān—which fulfill one’s desires; yāti—one goes; lokān—to the destination of the higher planetary system; gṛha-anvitaḥ—a person attached to household life; brāhmaṇaḥ—the brāhmaṇas; agniḥ ca—and the fire; vai—indeed; viṣṇoḥ—of Lord Viṣṇu; sarva-deva-ātmanaḥ—the soul of all the demigods; mukham—the mouth.
By worshiping the fire and the brāhmaṇas, a householder can achieve the desired goal of residing in the higher planets, for the sacrificial fire and the brāhmaṇas are to be considered the mouth of Lord Viṣṇu, who is the Supersoul of all the demigods.
According to the Vedic system, a fire sacrifice is held in order to offer oblations of ghee, grains, fruits, flowers and so on, so that Lord Viṣṇu may eat and be satisfied. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (9.26):
“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” Therefore, all these items may be offered in the sacrificial fire, and Lord Viṣṇu will be satisfied. Similarly, brāhmaṇa-bhojana, feeding of the brāhmaṇas, is also recommended, for when the brāhmaṇas eat sumptuous remnants of food after yajña, this is another way that Lord Viṣṇu Himself eats. Therefore the Vedic principles recommend that in every festival or ceremony one offer oblations to the fire and give sumptuous food for the brāhmaṇas to eat. By such activities, a householder may be elevated to the heavenly planets and similar places in the higher planetary systems.
api sarve kuśalinas
tava putrā manasvini
lakṣaye ’svastham ātmānaṁ
bhavatyā lakṣaṇair aham
api—whether; sarve—all; kuśalinaḥ—in full auspiciousness; tava—your; putrāḥ—sons; manasvini—O great-minded lady; lakṣaye—I see; asvastham—not in tranquillity; ātmānam—the mind; bhavatyāḥ—of you; lakṣaṇaiḥ—by symptoms; aham—I.
O great-minded lady, are all your sons faring well? Seeing your withered face, I can perceive that your mind is not tranquil. How is this so?
śrī-aditir uvāca
bhadraṁ dvija-gavāṁ brahman
dharmasyāsya janasya ca
tri-vargasya paraṁ kṣetraṁ
gṛhamedhin gṛhā ime
śrī-aditiḥ uvāca—Śrīmatī Aditi said; bhadram—all auspiciousness; dvija-gavām—of the brāhmaṇas and the cows; brahman—O brāhmaṇa; dharmasya asya—of the religious principles mentioned in śāstra; janasya—of the people in general; ca—and; tri-vargasya—of the three processes of elevation (dharma, artha and kāma); param—the supreme; kṣetram—field; gṛhamedhin—O my husband, who are attached to household life; gṛhāḥ—your home; ime—all these things.
Aditi said: O my respected brāhmaṇa husband, all is well with the brāhmaṇas, the cows, religion and the welfare of other people. O master of the house, the three principles of dharma, artha and kāma flourish in household life, which is consequently full of good fortune.
In household life one can develop the three principles of religion, economic development and sense gratification according to the regulations given in the śāstras, but to attain liberation one must give up household life and place himself in the transcendental renounced order. Kaśyapa Muni was not in the renounced order of life. Therefore he is addressed here once as brahman and another time as gṛhamedhin. Aditi, his wife, assured him that as far as household life was concerned, everything was going nicely, and the brāhmaṇas and cows were being honored and protected. In other words, there were no disturbances; household life was duly progressing.
agnayo ’tithayo bhṛtyā
bhikṣavo ye ca lipsavaḥ
sarvaṁ bhagavato brahmann
anudhyānān na riṣyati
agnayaḥ—worshiping the fires; atithayaḥ—receiving the guests; bhṛtyāḥ—satisfying the servants; bhikṣavaḥ—pleasing the beggars; ye—all of them who; ca—and; lipsavaḥ—as they desire (are taken care of); sarvam—all of them; bhagavataḥ—of you, my lord; brahman—O brāhmaṇa; anudhyānāt—from always thinking; na riṣyati—nothing is missed (everything is properly done).
O beloved husband, the fires, guests, servants and beggars are all being properly cared for by me. Because I always think of you, there is no possibility that any of the religious principles will be neglected.
ko nu me bhagavan kāmo
na sampadyeta mānasaḥ
yasyā bhavān prajādhyakṣa
evaṁ dharmān prabhāṣate
kaḥ—what; nu—indeed; me—my; bhagavan—O lord; kāmaḥ—desire; na—not; sampadyeta—can be fulfilled; mānasaḥ—within my mind; yasyāḥ—of me; bhavān—your good self; prajā-adhyakṣaḥPrajāpati; evam—thus; dharmān—religious principles; prabhāṣate—talks.
O my lord, since you are a Prajāpati and are personally my instructor in the principles of religion, where is the possibility that all my desires will not be fulfilled?
tavaiva mārīca manaḥ-śarīrajāḥ
prajā imāḥ sattva-rajas-tamo-juṣaḥ
samo bhavāṁs tāsv asurādiṣu prabho
tathāpi bhaktaṁ bhajate maheśvaraḥ
tava—your; eva—indeed; mārīca—O son of Marīci; manaḥ-śarīra-jāḥ—born either of your body or of your mind (all the demons and demigods); prajāḥ—born of you; imāḥ—all of them; sattva-rajaḥ-tamaḥ-juṣaḥ—infected with sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa or tamo-guṇa; samaḥ—equal; bhavān—your good self; tāsu—to every one of them; asura-ādiṣu—beginning with the asuras; prabho—O my lord; tathā api—still; bhaktam—unto the devotees; bhajate—takes care of; mahā-īśvaraḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller.
O son of Marīci, because you are a great personality you are equal toward all the demons and demigods, who are born either from your body or from your mind and who possess one or another of the three qualities—sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa or tamo-guṇa. But although the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller, is equal toward all living entities, He is especially favorable to the devotees.
In Bhagavad-gītā (9.29) the Lord says:
samo ’haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
na me dveṣyo ’sti na priyaḥ
ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead is equal toward everyone, He is especially inclined toward those who engage in His devotional service. The Lord says, kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati: “My dear son of Kuntī, please declare that My devotee will never be vanquished.” Elsewhere, Kṛṣṇa also says:
ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ
(Bg. 4.11)
Actually, everyone is trying to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead in various ways, but according to their methods of approach, the Supreme Lord endows them with different benedictions. Thus Aditi appealed to her husband by saying that since even the supreme controller favors His devotees and since Indra, Kaśyapa’s devoted son, was in difficulty, Kaśyapa should bestow his favor upon Indra.
tasmād īśa bhajantyā me
śreyaś cintaya suvrata
hṛta-śriyo hṛta-sthānān
sapatnaiḥ pāhi naḥ prabho
tasmāt—therefore; īśa—O powerful controller; bhajantyāḥ—of your servitor; me—me; śreyaḥ—auspiciousness; cintaya—just consider; su-vrata—O most gentle one; hṛta-śriyaḥ—bereft of all opulence; hṛta-sthānān—bereft of a residence; sapatnaiḥ—by the competitors; pāhi—please protect; naḥ—us; prabho—O my lord.
Therefore, most gentle lord, kindly favor your maidservant. We have now been deprived of our opulence and residence by our competitors, the demons. Kindly give us protection.
Aditi, the mother of the demigods, appealed to Kaśyapa Muni to give the demigods protection. When we speak of the demigods, this also includes their mother.
parair vivāsitā sāhaṁ
magnā vyasana-sāgare
aiśvaryaṁ śrīr yaśaḥ sthānaṁ
hṛtāni prabalair mama
paraiḥ—by our enemies; vivāsitā—taken away from our residential quarters; —the same; aham—I; magnā—drowned; vyasana-sāgare—in an ocean of trouble; aiśvaryam—opulence; śrīḥ—beauty; yaśaḥ—reputation; sthānam—place; hṛtāni—all taken away; prabalaiḥ—very powerful; mama—my.
The demons, our formidably powerful enemies, have taken away our opulence, our beauty, our fame and even our residence. Indeed, we have now been exiled, and we are drowning in an ocean of trouble.
yathā tāni punaḥ sādho
prapadyeran mamātmajāḥ
tathā vidhehi kalyāṇaṁ
dhiyā kalyāṇa-kṛttama
yathā—as; tāni—all of our lost things; punaḥ—again; sādho—O great saintly person; prapadyeran—can regain; mama—my; ātmajāḥ—offspring (sons); tathā—so; vidhehi—kindly do; kalyāṇam—auspiciousness; dhiyā—by consideration; kalyāṇa-kṛt-tama—O you who are the best person to act for our welfare.
O best of sages, best of all those who grant auspicious benedictions, please consider our situation and bestow upon my sons the benedictions by which they can regain what they have lost.
śrī-śuka uvāca
evam abhyarthito ’dityā
kas tām āha smayann iva
aho māyā-balaṁ viṣṇoḥ
sneha-baddham idaṁ jagat
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam—in this way; abhyarthitaḥ—being requested; adityā—by Aditi; kaḥKaśyapa Muni; tām—unto her; āha—said; smayan—smiling; iva—just like; aho—alas; māyā-balam—the influence of the illusory energy; viṣṇoḥ—of Lord Viṣṇu; sneha-baddham—influenced by this affection; idam—this; jagat—whole world.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: When Kaśyapa Muni was thus requested by Aditi, he slightly smiled. “Alas,” he said, “how powerful is the illusory energy of Lord Viṣṇu, by which the entire world is bound by affection for children!”
Kaśyapa Muni was surely sympathetic to his wife’s affliction, yet he was surprised at how the whole world is influenced by affection.
kva deho bhautiko ’nātmā
kva cātmā prakṛteḥ paraḥ
kasya ke pati-putrādyā
moha eva hi kāraṇam
kva—where is; dehaḥ—this material body; bhautikaḥ—made of five elements; anātmā—not the spirit soul; kva—where is; ca—also; ātmā—the spirit soul; prakṛteḥ—to the material world; paraḥ—transcendental; kasya—of whom; ke—who is; pati—husband; putra-ādyāḥ—or son and so on; mohaḥ—illusion; eva—indeed; hi—certainly; kāraṇam—cause.
Kaśyapa Muni continued: What is this material body, made of five elements? It is different from the spirit soul. Indeed, the spirit soul is completely different from the material elements from which the body is made. But because of bodily attachment, one is regarded as a husband or son. These illusory relationships are caused by misunderstanding.
The spirit soul (ātmā or jīva) is certainly different from the body, which is a combination of five material elements. This is a simple fact, but it is not understood unless one is spiritually educated. Kaśyapa Muni met his wife, Aditi, in the heavenly planets, but the same misconception extends throughout the entire universe and is also here on earth. There are different grades of living entities, but all of them are more or less under the impression of the bodily conception of life. In other words, all living entities in this material world are more or less devoid of spiritual education. The Vedic civilization, however, is based on spiritual education, and spiritual education is the special basis on which Bhagavad-gītā was spoken to Arjuna. In the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa instructed Arjuna to understand that the spirit soul is different from the body.
“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Bg. 2.13) Unfortunately, this spiritual education is completely absent from modern human civilization. No one understands his real self-interest, which lies with the spirit soul, not with the material body. Education means spiritual education. To work hard in the bodily conception of life, without spiritual education, is to live like an animal. Nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛ-loke kaṣṭān kāmān arhate vid-bhujāṁ ye (Bhāg. 5.5.1). People are working so hard simply for bodily comforts, without education regarding the spirit soul. Thus they are living in a very risky civilization, for it is a fact that the spirit soul has to transmigrate from one body to another (tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ). Without spiritual education, people are kept in dark ignorance and do not know what will happen to them after the annihilation of the present body. They are working blindly, and blind leaders are directing them. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās te ’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ (Bhāg. 7.5.31). A foolish person does not know that he is completely under the bondage of material nature and that after death material nature will impose upon him a certain type of body, which he will have to accept. He does not know that although in his present body he may be a very important man, he may next get the body of an animal or tree because of his ignorant activities in the modes of material nature. Therefore the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to give the true light of spiritual existence to all living entities. This movement is not very difficult to understand, and people must take advantage of it, for it will save them from the risky life of irresponsibility.
upatiṣṭhasva puruṣaṁ
bhagavantaṁ janārdanam
vāsudevaṁ jagad-gurum
upatiṣṭhasva—just try to worship; puruṣam—the Supreme Person; bhagavantam—the Personality of Godhead; janārdanam—who can kill all the enemies; sarva-bhūta-guhā-vāsam—living within the core of the heart of everyone; vāsudevamVāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, who is all-pervading and is the son of Vasudeva; jagat-gurum—the spiritual master and teacher of the whole world.
My dear Aditi, engage in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of everything, who can subdue everyone’s enemies, and who sits within everyone’s heart. Only that Supreme Person—Kṛṣṇa, or Vāsudeva—can bestow all auspicious benedictions upon everyone, for He is the spiritual master of the universe.
With these words, Kaśyapa Muni tried to pacify his wife. Aditi made her appeal to her material husband. Of course, that is nice, but actually a material relative cannot do anything good for anyone. If anything good can be done, it is done by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. Therefore, Kaśyapa Muni advised his wife, Aditi, to begin worshiping Lord Vāsudeva, who is situated in everyone’s heart. He is the friend of everyone and is known as Janārdana because He can kill all enemies. There are three modes of material nature—goodness, passion and ignorance—and above material nature, transcendental to material nature, is another existence, which is called śuddha-sattva. In the material world, the mode of goodness is considered the best, but because of material contamination, even the mode of goodness is sometimes overpowered by the modes of passion and ignorance. But when one transcends the competition between these modes and engages himself in devotional service, he rises above the three modes of material nature. In that transcendental position, one is situated in pure consciousness. Sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditam (Bhāg. 4.3.23). Above material nature is the position called vasudeva, or freedom from material contamination. Only in that position can one perceive the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. Thus the vasudeva condition fulfills a spiritual necessity. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg. 7.19]. When one realizes Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he becomes most exalted.
Paramātmā (Vāsudeva) is situated in everyone’s heart, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā. The Lord says:
“To those who are constantly devoted and who worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.” (Bg. 10.10)
“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna.” (Bg. 18.61)
“The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.” (Bg. 5.29)
Whenever one is perplexed, let him take shelter of the lotus feet of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, who will give the devotee intelligence to help him surpass all difficulties and return home, back to Godhead. Kaśyapa Muni advised his wife to seek shelter at the lotus feet of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, so that all her problems would be very easily solved. Thus Kaśyapa Muni was an ideal spiritual master. He was not so foolish that he would present himself as an exalted personality, as good as God. He was actually a bona fide guru because he advised his wife to seek shelter at the lotus feet of Vāsudeva. One who trains his subordinate or disciple to worship Vāsudeva is the truly bona fide spiritual master. The word jagad-gurum is very important in this regard. Kaśyapa Muni did not falsely declare himself to be jagad-guru, although he actually was jagad-guru because he advocated the cause of Vāsudeva. Actually, Vāsudeva is jagad-guru, as clearly stated here (vāsudevaṁ jagad-gurum). One who teaches the instructions of Vāsudeva, Bhagavad-gītā, is as good as vāsudevaṁ jagad-gurum. But when one who does not teach this instruction—as it is—declares himself jagad-guru, he simply cheats the public. Kṛṣṇa is jagad-guru, and one who teaches the instruction of Kṛṣṇa as it is, on behalf of Kṛṣṇa, may be accepted as jagad-guru. One who manufactures his own theories cannot be accepted; he becomes jagad-guru falsely.
sa vidhāsyati te kāmān
harir dīnānukampanaḥ
amoghā bhagavad-bhaktir
netareti matir mama
saḥ—he (Vāsudeva); vidhāsyati—will undoubtedly fulfill; te—your; kāmān—desires; hariḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; dīna—unto the poor; anukampanaḥ—very merciful; amoghā—infallible; bhagavat-bhaktiḥ—devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; na—not; itarā—anything but bhagavad-bhakti; iti—thus; matiḥ—opinion; mama—my.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is very merciful to the poor, will fulfill all of your desires, for devotional service unto Him is infallible. Any method other than devotional service is useless. That is my opinion.
There are three kinds of men, who are called akāma, mokṣa-kāma and sarva-kāma. One who tries to get liberation from this material world is called mokṣa-kāma, one who wants to enjoy this material world to its fullest extent is called sarva-kāma, and one who has fulfilled all his desires and has no further material desires is called akāma. A bhakta has no desire. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. He is purified and free from material desires. The mokṣa-kāmī wants to achieve liberation by merging into the existence of the Supreme Brahman, and because of this desire to merge into the existence of the Lord, he is not yet pure. And since those who want liberation are impure, what to speak of the karmīs, who have so many desires to fulfill? Nonetheless, the śāstra says:
“Whether one desires everything or nothing or desires to merge into the existence of the Lord, he is intelligent only if he worships Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by rendering transcendental loving service.” (Bhāg. 2.3.10)
Kaśyapa Muni saw that his wife, Aditi, had some material desires for the welfare of her sons, but still he advised her to render devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, everyone, regardless of whether he is a karmī, jñānī, yogī or bhakta, should invariably take shelter of the lotus feet of Vāsudeva and render transcendental loving service unto Him so that all his desires will be duly fulfilled. Kṛṣṇa is dīna-anukampana: He is very merciful to everyone. Therefore if one wants to fulfill his material desires, Kṛṣṇa helps him. Of course, sometimes if a devotee is very sincere, the Lord, as a special favor to him, refuses to fulfill his material desires and directly blesses him with pure, unalloyed devotional service. It is said in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 22.38–39):
āmi——vijña, ei mūrkhe ‘viṣaya’ kene diba?
sva-caraṇāmṛta diyā ‘viṣaya’ bhulāiba
“Kṛṣṇa says, ‘If one engages in My transcendental loving service but at the same time wants the opulence of material enjoyment, he is very, very foolish. Indeed, he is just like a person who gives up ambrosia to drink poison. Since I am very intelligent, why should I give this fool material prosperity? Instead I shall induce him to take the nectar of the shelter of My lotus feet and make him forget illusory material enjoyment.’ ” If a devotee maintains some material desire and at the same time very sincerely desires to engage at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa may directly give him unalloyed devotional service and take away all his material desires and possessions. This is the Lord’s special favor to devotees. Otherwise, if one takes to Kṛṣṇa’s devotional service but still has material desires to fulfill, he may become free from all material desires, as Dhruva Mahārāja did, but this may take some time. However, if a very sincere devotee wants only Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, Kṛṣṇa directly gives him the position of śuddha-bhakti, unalloyed devotional service.
śrī-aditir uvāca
kenāhaṁ vidhinā brahmann
upasthāsye jagat-patim
yathā me satya-saṅkalpo
vidadhyāt sa manoratham
śrī-aditiḥ uvāca—Śrīmatī Aditi began to pray; kena—by which; aham—I; vidhinā—by regulative principles; brahman—O brāhmaṇa; upasthāsye—can please; jagat-patim—the Lord of the universe, Jagannātha; yathā—by which; me—my; satya-saṅkalpaḥ—desire may actually be fulfilled; vidadhyāt—may fulfill; saḥ—He (the Supreme Lord); manoratham—ambitions or desires.
Śrīmatī Aditi said: O brāhmaṇa, tell me the regulative principles by which I may worship the supreme master of the world so that the Lord will be pleased with me and fulfill all my desires.
It is said, “Man proposes, God disposes.” Thus a person may desire many things, but unless these desires are fulfilled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they cannot be fulfilled. Fulfillment of desire is called satya-saṅkalpa. Here the word satya-saṅkalpa is very important. Aditi placed herself at the mercy of her husband so that he would give her directions by which to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead so that all her desires would be fulfilled. A disciple must first decide that he should worship the Supreme Lord, and then the spiritual master will give the disciple correct directions. One cannot dictate to the spiritual master, just as a patient cannot demand that his physician prescribe a certain type of medicine. Here is the beginning of worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (7.16):
catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
janāḥ sukṛtino ’rjuna
ārto jijñāsur arthārthī
jñānī ca bharatarṣabha
“O best among the Bhāratas, four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me—the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.” Aditi was ārta, a person in distress. She was very much aggrieved because her sons, the demigods, were bereft of everything. Thus she wanted to take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead under the direction of her husband, Kaśyapa Muni.
ādiśa tvaṁ dvija-śreṣṭha
vidhiṁ tad-upadhāvanam
āśu tuṣyati me devaḥ
sīdantyāḥ saha putrakaiḥ
ādiśa—just instruct me; tvam—O my husband; dvija-śreṣṭha—O best of the brāhmaṇas; vidhim—the regulative principles; tat—the Lord; upadhāvanam—the process of worshiping; āśu—very soon; tuṣyati—becomes satisfied; me—unto me; devaḥ—the Lord; sīdantyāḥ—now lamenting; saha—with; putrakaiḥ—all my sons, the demigods.
O best of the brāhmaṇas, kindly instruct me in the perfect method of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead in devotional service, by which the Lord may very soon be pleased with me and save me, along with my sons, from this most dangerous condition.
Sometimes less intelligent men ask whether one has to approach a guru to be instructed in devotional service for spiritual advancement. The answer is given here—indeed, not only here, but also in Bhagavad-gītā, where Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as his guru (śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam). The Vedas also instruct, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa guruṁ evābhigacchet: [MU
tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham
“To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth.”
[Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12]
1.2.12] one must accept a guru for proper direction if one is seriously inclined toward advancement in spiritual life. The Lord says that one must worship the ācārya, who is the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyāt). One should definitely understand this. In Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that the guru is the manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, according to all the evidence given by the śāstra and by the practical behavior of devotees, one must accept a guru. Aditi accepted her husband as her guru, so that he would direct her how to advance in spiritual consciousness, devotional service, by worshiping the Supreme Lord.
śrī-kaśyapa uvāca
etan me bhagavān pṛṣṭaḥ
prajā-kāmasya padmajaḥ
yad āha te pravakṣyāmi
vrataṁ keśava-toṣaṇam
śrī-kaśyapaḥ uvācaKaśyapa Muni said; etat—this; me—by me; bhagavān—the most powerful; pṛṣṭaḥ—when he was requested; prajā-kāmasya—desiring offspring; padma-jaḥ—Lord Brahmā, who was born of a lotus flower; yat—whatever; āha—he said; te—unto you; pravakṣyāmi—I shall explain; vratam—in the form of worship; keśava-toṣaṇam—by which Keśava, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is satisfied.
Śrī Kaśyapa Muni said: When I desired offspring, I placed inquiries before Lord Brahmā, who is born from a lotus flower. Now I shall explain to you the same process Lord Brahmā instructed me, by which Keśava, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is satisfied.
Here the process of devotional service is further explained. Kaśyapa Muni wanted to instruct Aditi in the same process recommended to him by Brahmā for satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is valuable. The guru does not manufacture a new process to instruct the disciple. The disciple receives from the guru an authorized process received by the guru from his guru. This is called the system of disciplic succession (evaṁ paramparā-prāptaṁ imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]). This is the bona fide Vedic system of receiving the process of devotional service, by which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased. Therefore, to approach a bona fide guru, or spiritual master, is essential. The bona fide spiritual master is he who has received the mercy of his guru, who in turn is bona fide because he has received the mercy of his guru. This is called the paramparā system. Unless one follows this paramparā system, the mantra one receives will be chanted for no purpose. Nowadays there are so many rascal gurus who manufacture their mantras as a process for material advancement, not spiritual advancement. Still, the mantra cannot be successful if it is manufactured. Mantras and the process of devotional service have special power, provided they are received from the authorized person.
phālgunasyāmale pakṣe
dvādaśāhaṁ payo-vratam
arcayed aravindākṣaṁ
bhaktyā paramayānvitaḥ
phālgunasya—of the month of Phālguna (February and March); amale—during the bright; pakṣe—fortnight; dvādaśa-aham—for twelve days, ending with Dvādaśī, the day after Ekādaśī; payaḥ-vratam—accepting the vow of taking only milk; arcayet—one should worship; aravinda-akṣam—the lotus-eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhaktyā—with devotion; paramayā—unalloyed; anvitaḥ—surcharged.
In the bright fortnight of the month of Phālguna [February and March], for twelve days ending with Dvādaśī, one should observe the vow of subsisting only on milk and should worship the lotus-eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead with all devotion.
Worshiping the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu with devotion means following arcana-mārga.
One should install the Deity of Lord Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa and worship Him nicely by dressing Him, decorating Him with flower garlands, and offering Him all kinds of fruits, flowers and cooked food, nicely prepared with ghee, sugar and grains. One should also offer a flame, incense and so on, while ringing a bell, as prescribed. This is called worship of the Lord. Here it is recommended that one observe the vow of subsisting only by drinking milk. This is called payo-vrata. As we generally perform devotional service on Ekādaśī by not eating grains, it is generally recommended that on Dvādaśī one not consume anything but milk. payo-vrata and arcana devotional service to the Supreme Lord should be performed with a pure devotional attitude (bhaktyā). Without bhakti, one cannot worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. If one wants to know the Supreme Personality of Godhead and be directly connected with Him, knowing what He wants to eat and how He is satisfied, one must take to the process of bhakti. As recommended here also, bhaktyā paramayānvitaḥ: one should be surcharged with unalloyed devotional service.
sinīvālyāṁ mṛdālipya
snāyāt kroḍa-vidīrṇayā
yadi labhyeta vai srotasy
etaṁ mantram udīrayet
sinīvālyām—on the dark-moon day; mṛdā—with dirt; ālipya—smearing the body; snāyāt—one should bathe; kroḍa-vidīrṇayā—dug up by the tusk of a boar; yadi—if; labhyeta—it is available; vai—indeed; srotasi—in a flowing river; etam mantram—this mantra; udīrayet—one should chant.
If dirt dug up by a boar is available, on the day of the dark moon one should smear this dirt on his body and then bathe in a flowing river. While bathing, one should chant the following mantra.
tvaṁ devy ādi-varāheṇa
rasāyāḥ sthānam icchatā
uddhṛtāsi namas tubhyaṁ
pāpmānaṁ me praṇāśaya
tvam—you; devi—O mother earth; ādi-varāheṇa—by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of a boar; rasāyāḥ—from the bottom of the universe; sthānam—a place; icchatā—desiring; uddhṛtā asi—you have been raised; namaḥ tubhyam—I offer my respectful obeisances unto you; pāpmānam—all sinful activities and their reactions; me—of me; praṇāśaya—please undo.
O mother earth, you were raised by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of a boar because of your desiring to have a place to stay. I pray that you kindly vanquish all the reactions of my sinful life. I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.
devam arcet samāhitaḥ
arcāyāṁ sthaṇḍile sūrye
jale vahnau gurāv api
nirvartita—finished; ātma-niyamaḥ—the daily duties of washing, chanting other mantras and so on, according to one’s practice; devam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; arcet—one should worship; samāhitaḥ—with full attention; arcāyām—unto the Deities; sthaṇḍile—unto the altar; sūrye—unto the sun; jale—unto the water; vahnau—unto the fire; gurau—unto the spiritual master; api—indeed.
Thereafter, one should perform his daily spiritual duties and then, with great attention, offer worship to the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and also to the altar, the sun, water, fire and the spiritual master.
namas tubhyaṁ bhagavate
puruṣāya mahīyase
vāsudevāya sākṣiṇe
namaḥ tubhyam—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; bhagavate—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; puruṣāya—the Supreme Person; mahīyase—the best of all personalities; sarva-bhūta-nivāsāya—the person who lives in everyone’s heart; vāsudevāya—the Lord who lives everywhere; sākṣiṇe—the witness of everything.
O Supreme Personality of Godhead, greatest of all, who lives in everyone’s heart and in whom everyone lives, O witness of everything, O Vāsudeva, supreme and all-pervading person, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
namo ’vyaktāya sūkṣmāya
pradhāna-puruṣāya ca
namaḥ—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; avyaktāya—who are never seen by material eyes; sūkṣmāya—transcendental; pradhāna-puruṣāya—the Supreme Person; ca—also; catuḥ-viṁśat—twenty-four; guṇa-jñāya—the knower of the elements; guṇa-saṅkhyāna—of the sāṅkhya-yoga system; hetave—the original cause.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, the Supreme Person. Being very subtle, You are never visible to material eyes. You are the knower of the twenty-four elements, and You are the inaugurator of the sāṅkhya-yoga system.
Catur-viṁśad-guṇa, the twenty-four elements, are the five gross elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether), the three subtle elements (mind, intelligence and false ego), the ten senses (five for working and five for acquiring knowledge), the five sense objects, and contaminated consciousness. These are the subject matter of sāṅkhya-yoga, which was inaugurated by Lord Kapiladeva. This sāṅkhya-yoga was again propounded by another Kapila, but he was an atheist, and his system is not accepted as bona fide.
namo dvi-śīrṣṇe tri-pade
catuḥ-śṛṅgāya tantave
sapta-hastāya yajñāya
trayī-vidyātmane namaḥ
namaḥ—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; dvi-śīrṣṇe—who have two heads; tri-pade—who have three legs; catuḥ-śṛṅgāya—who have four horns; tantave—who expand; sapta-hastāya—who have seven hands; yajñāya—unto the yajña-puruṣa, the supreme enjoyer; trayī—the three modes of Vedic ritualistic ceremonies; vidyā-ātmane—the Personality of Godhead, the embodiment of all knowledge; namaḥ—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who have two heads [prāyaṇīya and udāyanīya], three legs [savana-traya], four horns [the four Vedas] and seven hands [the seven chandas, such as Gāyatrī]. I offer my obeisances unto You, whose heart and soul are the three Vedic rituals [karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa and upāsanā-kāṇḍa] and who expand these rituals in the form of sacrifice.
namaḥ śivāya rudrāya
namaḥ śakti-dharāya ca
bhūtānāṁ pataye namaḥ
namaḥ—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; śivāya—the incarnation named Lord Śiva; rudrāya—the expansion named Rudra; namaḥ—obeisances; śakti-dharāya—the reservoir of all potencies; ca—and; sarva-vidyā-adhipataye—the reservoir of all knowledge; bhūtānām—of the living entities; pataye—the supreme master; namaḥ—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, Lord Śiva, or Rudra, who are the reservoir of all potencies, the reservoir of all knowledge, and the master of everyone.
It is the system for one to offer obeisances unto the expansion or incarnation of the Lord. Lord Śiva is the incarnation of ignorance, one of the material modes of nature.
namo hiraṇyagarbhāya
prāṇāya jagad-ātmane
namas te yoga-hetave
namaḥ—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; hiraṇyagarbhāya—situated as the four-headed Hiraṇyagarbha, Brahmā; prāṇāya—the source of everyone’s life; jagat-ātmane—the Supersoul of the entire universe; yoga-aiśvarya-śarīrāya—whose body is full of opulences and mystic power; namaḥ te—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; yoga-hetave—the original master of all mystic power.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are situated as Hiraṇyagarbha, the source of life, the Supersoul of every living entity. Your body is the source of the opulence of all mystic power. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
namas ta ādi-devāya
sākṣi-bhūtāya te namaḥ
nārāyaṇāya ṛṣaye
narāya haraye namaḥ
namaḥ te—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; ādi-devāya—who are the original Personality of Godhead; sākṣi-bhūtāya—the witness of everything within the heart of everyone; te—unto You; namaḥ— I offer my respectful obeisances; nārāyaṇāya—who take the incarnation of Nārāyaṇa; ṛṣaye—the sage; narāya—the incarnation of a human being; haraye—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; namaḥ—I offer my respectful obeisances.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are the original Personality of Godhead, the witness in everyone’s heart, and the incarnation of Nara-Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi in the form of a human being. O Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
namo marakata-śyāma-
vapuṣe ’dhigata-śriye
keśavāya namas tubhyaṁ
namas te pīta-vāsase
namaḥ—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; marakata-śyāma-vapuṣe—whose bodily hue is blackish like the marakata gem; adhigata-śriye—under whose control is mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune; keśavāya—Lord Keśava, who killed the Keśī demon; namaḥ tubhyam—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; namaḥ te—again I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; pīta-vāsase—whose garment is yellow.
My Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are dressed in yellow garments, whose bodily hue resembles the marakata gem, and who have full control over the goddess of fortune. O my Lord Keśava, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
tvaṁ sarva-varadaḥ puṁsāṁ
vareṇya varadarṣabha
atas te śreyase dhīrāḥ
pāda-reṇum upāsate
tvam—You; sarva-vara-daḥ—who can give all kinds of benedictions; puṁsām—to all living entities; vareṇya—O most worshipable; vara-da-ṛṣabha—O most powerful of all givers of benediction; ataḥ—for this reason; te—Your; śreyase—the source of all auspiciousness; dhīrāḥ—the most sober; pāda-reṇum upāsate—worship the dust of the lotus feet.
O most exalted and worshipable Lord, best of those who bestow benediction, You can fulfill the desires of everyone, and therefore those who are sober, for their own welfare, worship the dust of Your lotus feet.
anvavartanta yaṁ devāḥ
śrīś ca tat-pāda-padmayoḥ
spṛhayanta ivāmodaṁ
bhagavān me prasīdatām
anvavartanta—engaged in devotional service; yam—unto whom; devāḥ—all the demigods; śrīḥ ca—and the goddess of fortune; tat-pāda-padmayoḥ—of the lotus feet of His Lordship; spṛhayantaḥ—desiring; iva—exactly; āmodam—celestial bliss; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; me—upon me; prasīdatām—may be pleased.
All the demigods, as well as the goddess of fortune, engage in the service of His lotus feet. Indeed, they respect the fragrance of those lotus feet. May the Supreme Personality of Godhead be pleased with me.
etair mantrair hṛṣīkeśam
arcayec chraddhayā yuktaḥ
etaiḥ mantraiḥ—by chanting all these mantras; hṛṣīkeśam—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all senses; āvāhana—calling; puraskṛtam—honoring Him in all respects; arcayet—one should worship; śraddhayā—with faith and devotion; yuktaḥ—engaged; pādya-upasparśana-ādibhiḥ—with the paraphernalia of worship (pādya, arghya, etc.).
Kaśyapa Muni continued: By chanting all these mantras, welcoming the Supreme Personality of Godhead with faith and devotion, and offering Him items of worship [such as pādya and arghya], one should worship Keśava, Hṛṣīkeśa, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
arcitvā gandha-mālyādyaiḥ
payasā snapayed vibhum
pādyopasparśanais tataḥ
gandha-dhūpādibhiś cārced
arcitvā—worshiping in this way; gandha-mālya-ādyaiḥ—with incense, flower garlands, etc.; payasā—with milk; snapayet—should bathe; vibhum—the Lord; vastra—dress; upavīta—sacred thread; ābharaṇa—ornaments; pādya—water for washing the lotus feet; upasparśanaiḥ—touching; tataḥ—thereafter; gandha—fragrance; dhūpa—incense; ādibhiḥ—with all of these; ca—and; arcet—should worship; dvādaśa-akṣara-vidyayā—with the mantra of twelve syllables.
In the beginning, the devotee should chant the dvādaśākṣara-mantra and offer flower garlands, incense and so on. After worshiping the Lord in this way, one should bathe the Lord with milk and dress Him with proper garments, a sacred thread, and ornaments. After offering water to wash the Lord’s feet, one should again worship the Lord with fragrant flowers, incense and other paraphernalia.
The dvādaśākṣara-mantra is oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. While worshiping the Deity, one should ring a bell with his left hand and offer pādya, arghya, vastra, gandha, mālā, ābharaṇa, bhūṣaṇa and so on. In this way, one should bathe the Lord with milk, dress Him and again worship Him with all paraphernalia.
śṛtaṁ payasi naivedyaṁ
śāly-annaṁ vibhave sati
sasarpiḥ saguḍaṁ dattvā
juhuyān mūla-vidyayā
śṛtam—cooked; payasi—in milk; naivedyam—offering to the Deity; śāli-annam—fine rice; vibhave—if available; sati—in this way; sa-sarpiḥ—with ghee (clarified butter); sa-guḍam—with molasses; dattvā—offering Him; juhuyāt—should offer oblations in the fire; mūla-vidyayā—with chanting of the same dvādaśākṣara-mantra
If one can afford to, one should offer the Deity fine rice boiled in milk with clarified butter and molasses. While chanting the same original mantra, one should offer all this to the fire.
niveditaṁ tad-bhaktāya
dadyād bhuñjīta vā svayam
dattvācamanam arcitvā
tāmbūlaṁ ca nivedayet
niveditam—this offering of prasāda; tat-bhaktāya—unto His devotee; dadyāt—should be offered; bhuñjīta—one should take; —either; svayam—personally; dattvā ācamanam—giving water to wash the hands and mouth; arcitvā—in this way worshiping the Deity; tāmbūlam—betel nuts with spices; ca—also; nivedayet—one should offer.
One should offer all the prasāda to a Vaiṣṇava or offer him some of the prasāda and then take some oneself. After this, one should offer the Deity ācamana and then betel nut and then again worship the Lord.
japed aṣṭottara-śataṁ
stuvīta stutibhiḥ prabhum
kṛtvā pradakṣiṇaṁ bhūmau
praṇamed daṇḍavan mudā
japet—should silently murmur; aṣṭottara-śatam—108 times; stuvīta—should offer prayers; stutibhiḥ—by various prayers of glorification; prabhum—unto the Lord; kṛtvā—thereafter doing; pradakṣiṇam—circumambulation; bhūmau—on the ground; praṇamet—should offer obeisances; daṇḍavat—straight, with the whole body; mudā—with great satisfaction.
Thereafter, one should silently murmur the mantra 108 times and offer prayers to the Lord for His glorification. Then one should circumambulate the Lord and finally, with great delight and satisfaction, offer obeisances, falling straight like a rod [daṇḍavat].
kṛtvā śirasi tac-cheṣāṁ
devam udvāsayet tataḥ
dvy-avarān bhojayed viprān
pāyasena yathocitam
kṛtvā—taking; śirasi—on the head; tat-śeṣām—all the remnants (the water and flowers offered to the Deity); devam—unto the Deity; udvāsayet—should be thrown into a sacred place; tataḥ—thereafter; dvi-avarān—a minimum of two; bhojayet—should feed; viprānbrāhmaṇas; pāyasena—with sweet rice; yathā-ucitam—as each deserves.
After touching to one’s head all the flowers and water offered to the Deity, one should throw them into a sacred place. Then one should feed at least two brāhmaṇas with sweet rice.
TEXTS 44–45
bhuñjīta tair anujñātaḥ
seṣṭaḥ śeṣaṁ sabhājitaiḥ
brahmacāry atha tad-rātryāṁ
śvo bhūte prathame ’hani
snātaḥ śucir yathoktena
vidhinā susamāhitaḥ
payasā snāpayitvārced
yāvad vrata-samāpanam
bhuñjīta—should take the prasāda; taiḥ—by the brāhmaṇas; anujñātaḥ—being permitted; sa-iṣṭaḥ—with friends and relatives; śeṣam—the remnants; sabhājitaiḥ—properly honored; brahmacārī—observance of celibacy; atha—of course; tat-rātryām—at night; śvaḥ bhūte—at the end of the night, when the morning comes; prathame ahani—on the first day; snātaḥ—bathing; śuciḥ—becoming purified; yathā-uktena—as stated before; vidhinā—by following the regulative principles; su-samāhitaḥ—with great attention; payasā—with milk; snāpayitvā—bathing the Deity; arcet—should offer worship; yāvat—as long as; vrata-samāpanam—the period of worship is not over.
One should perfectly honor the respectable brāhmaṇas one has fed, and then, after taking their permission, one should take prasāda with his friends and relatives. For that night, one should observe strict celibacy, and the next morning, after bathing again, with purity and attention one should bathe the Deity of Viṣṇu with milk and worship Him according to the methods formerly stated in detail.
payo-bhakṣo vratam idaṁ
cared viṣṇv-arcanādṛtaḥ
pūrvavaj juhuyād agniṁ
brāhmaṇāṁś cāpi bhojayet
payaḥ-bhakṣaḥ—one who drinks milk only; vratam idam—this process of worshiping with a vow; caret—one should execute; viṣṇu-arcana-ādṛtaḥ—worshiping Lord Viṣṇu with great faith and devotion; pūrva-vat—as prescribed previously; juhuyāt—one should offer oblations; agnim—into the fire; brāhmaṇān—unto the brāhmaṇas; ca api—as well as; bhojayet—should feed.
Worshiping Lord Viṣṇu with great faith and devotion and living only by drinking milk, one should follow this vow. One should also offer oblations to the fire and feed the brāhmaṇas as mentioned before.
evaṁ tv ahar ahaḥ kuryād
dvādaśāhaṁ payo-vratam
harer ārādhanaṁ homam
arhaṇaṁ dvija-tarpaṇam
evam—in this way; tu—indeed; ahaḥ ahaḥ—day after day; kuryāt—should execute; dvādaśa-aham—until twelve days; payaḥ-vratam—the observance of the vrata known as payo-vrata; hareḥ ārādhanam—worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead; homam—by executing a fire sacrifice; arhaṇam—worshiping the Deity; dvija-tarpaṇam—and satisfying the brāhmaṇas by feeding them.
In this way, until twelve days have passed, one should observe this payo-vrata, worshiping the Lord every day, executing the routine duties, performing sacrifices and feeding the brāhmaṇas.
pratipad-dinam ārabhya
yāvac chukla-trayodaśīm
brahmacaryam adhaḥ-svapnaṁ
snānaṁ tri-ṣavaṇaṁ caret
pratipat-dinam—on the day of pratipat; ārabhya—beginning; yāvat—until; śukla—of the bright fortnight; trayodaśīm—the thirteenth day of the moon (the second day after Ekādaśī); brahmacaryam—observing complete celibacy; adhaḥ-svapnam—lying down on the floor; snānam—bathing; tri-savanam—three times (morning, evening and noon); caret—one should execute.
From pratipat until the thirteenth day of the next bright moon [śukla-trayodaśī], one should observe complete celibacy, sleep on the floor, bathe three times a day and thus execute the vow.
varjayed asad-ālāpaṁ
bhogān uccāvacāṁs tathā
ahiṁsraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
varjayet—one should give up; asat-ālāpam—unnecessary talk on material subject matters; bhogān—sense gratification; ucca-avacān—superior or inferior; tathā—as well as; ahiṁsraḥ—without being envious; sarva-bhūtānām—of all living entities; vāsudeva-parāyaṇaḥ—simply being a devotee of Lord Vāsudeva.
During this period, one should not unnecessarily talk of material subjects or topics of sense gratification, one should be completely free from envy of all living entities, and one should be a pure and simple devotee of Lord Vāsudeva.
trayodaśyām atho viṣṇoḥ
snapanaṁ pañcakair vibhoḥ
kārayec chāstra-dṛṣṭena
vidhinā vidhi-kovidaiḥ
trayodaśyām—on the thirteenth day of the moon; atho—thereafter; viṣṇoḥ—of Lord Viṣṇu; snapanam—bathing; pañcakaiḥ—by pañcāmṛta, five substances; vibhoḥ—the Lord; kārayet—one should execute; śāstra-dṛṣṭena—enjoined in the scripture; vidhinā—under regulative principles; vidhi-kovidaiḥ—assisted by the priests who know the regulative principles.
Thereafter, following the directions of the śāstra with help from brāhmaṇas who know the śāstra, on the thirteenth day of the moon one should bathe Lord Viṣṇu with five substances [milk, yogurt, ghee, sugar and honey].
TEXTS 51–52,
pūjāṁ ca mahatīṁ kuryād
caruṁ nirūpya payasi
śipiviṣṭāya viṣṇave
sūktena tena puruṣaṁ
yajeta susamāhitaḥ
naivedyaṁ cātiguṇavad
dadyāt puruṣa-tuṣṭidam
pūjām—worship; ca—also; mahatīm—very gorgeous; kuryāt—should do; vitta-śāṭhya—miserly mentality (not spending sufficient money); vivarjitaḥ—giving up; carum—grains offered in the yajña; nirūpya—seeing properly; payasi—with milk; śipiviṣṭāya—unto the Supersoul, who is situated in the heart of every living entity; viṣṇave—unto Lord Viṣṇu; sūktena—by chanting the Vedic mantra known as puruṣa-sūkta; tena—by that; puruṣam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; yajeta—one should worship; su-samāhitaḥ—with great attention; naivedyam—food offered to the Deity; ca—and; ati-guṇa-vat—prepared very gorgeously with all varieties of taste; dadyāt—should offer; puruṣa-tuṣṭi-dam—everything extremely pleasing to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Giving up the miserly habit of not spending money, one should arrange for the gorgeous worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, who is situated in the heart of every living entity. With great attention, one must prepare an oblation of grains boiled in ghee and milk and must chant the Puruṣa-sūkta mantra. The offerings of food should be of varieties of tastes. In this way, one should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
ācāryaṁ jñāna-sampannaṁ
toṣayed ṛtvijaś caiva
tad viddhy ārādhanaṁ hareḥ
ācāryam—the spiritual master; jñāna-sampannam—very advanced in spiritual knowledge; vastra-ābharaṇa-dhenubhiḥ—with clothing, ornaments and many cows; toṣayet—should satisfy; ṛtvijaḥ—the priests recommended by the spiritual master; ca eva—as well as; tat viddhi—try to understand that; ārādhanam—worship; hareḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
One should satisfy the spiritual master [ācārya], who is very learned in Vedic literature, and should satisfy his assistant priests [known as hotā, udgātā, adhvaryu and brahma]. One should please them by offering them clothing, ornaments and cows. This is the ceremony called viṣṇu-ārādhana, or worship of Lord Viṣṇu.
bhojayet tān guṇavatā
sad-annena śuci-smite
anyāṁś ca brāhmaṇāñ chaktyā
ye ca tatra samāgatāḥ
bhojayet—should distribute prasāda; tān—unto all of them; guṇa-vatā—by rich foods; sat-annena—with food prepared with ghee and milk, which is supposed to be very pure; śuci-smite—O most pious lady; anyān ca—others also; brāhmaṇānbrāhmaṇas; śaktyā—as far as possible; ye—all of them who; ca—also; tatra—there (at the ceremonies); samāgatāḥ—assembled.
O most auspicious lady, one should perform all the ceremonies under the direction of learned ācāryas and should satisfy them and their priests. By distributing prasāda, one should also satisfy the brāhmaṇas and others who have assembled.
dakṣiṇāṁ gurave dadyād
ṛtvigbhyaś ca yathārhataḥ
annādyenāśva-pākāṁś ca
prīṇayet samupāgatān
dakṣiṇām—some contribution of money or gold; gurave—unto the spiritual master; dadyāt—one should give; ṛtvigbhyaḥ ca—and to the priests engaged by the spiritual master; yathā-arhataḥ—as far as possible; anna-adyena—by distributing prasāda; āśva-pākān—even to the caṇḍālas, persons habituated to eating the flesh of dogs; ca—also; prīṇayet—one should please; samupāgatān—because they have assembled there for the ceremony.
One should satisfy the spiritual master and assistant priests by giving them cloth, ornaments, cows and also some monetary contribution. And by distributing prasāda one should satisfy everyone assembled, including even the lowest of men, the caṇḍālas [eaters of dog flesh].
In the Vedic system, prasāda is distributed, as recommended here, without discrimination as to who may take the prasāda. Regardless of whether one be a brāhmaṇa, śūdra, vaiśya, kṣatriya, or even the lowest of men, a caṇḍāla, he should be welcome to accept prasāda. However, when the caṇḍālas, the lower class or poorer class, are taking prasāda, this does not mean that they have become Nārāyaṇa or Viṣṇu. Nārāyaṇa is situated in everyone’s heart, but this does not mean Nārāyaṇa is a caṇḍāla or poor man. The Māyāvāda philosophy of accepting a poor man as Nārāyaṇa is the most envious and atheistic movement in Vedic culture. This mentality should be completely given up. Everyone should be given the opportunity to take prasāda, but this does not mean that everyone has the right to become Nārāyaṇa.
bhuktavatsu ca sarveṣu
viṣṇos tat prīṇanaṁ vidvān
bhuñjīta saha bandhubhiḥ
bhuktavatsu—after feeding; ca—also; sarveṣu—everyone present there; dīna—very poor; andha—blind; kṛpaṇa—those who are not brāhmaṇas; ādiṣu—and so on; viṣṇoḥ—of Lord Viṣṇu, who is situated in everyone’s heart; tat—that (prasāda); prīṇanam—pleasing; vidvān—one who understands this philosophy; bhuñjīta—should take prasāda himself; saha—with; bandhubhiḥ—friends and relatives.
One should distribute viṣṇu-prasāda to everyone, including the poor man, the blind man, the nondevotee and the non-brāhmaṇa. Knowing that Lord Viṣṇu is very pleased when everyone is sumptuously fed with viṣṇu-prasāda, the performer of yajña should then take prasāda with his friends and relatives.
nṛtya-vāditra-gītaiś ca
stutibhiḥ svasti-vācakaiḥ
kārayet tat-kathābhiś ca
pūjāṁ bhagavato ’nvaham
nṛtya—by dancing; vāditra—by beating the drum; gītaiḥ—and by singing; ca—also; stutibhiḥ—by chanting auspicious mantras; svasti-vācakaiḥ—by offering prayers; kārayet—should execute; tat-kathābhiḥ—by reciting the Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā and similar literature; ca—also; pūjām—worship; bhagavataḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu; anvaham—every day (from pratipat to trayodaśī).
Every day from pratipat to trayodaśī, one should continue the ceremony, to the accompaniment of dancing, singing, the beating of a drum, the chanting of prayers and all-auspicious mantras, and recitation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way, one should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
etat payo-vrataṁ nāma
puruṣārādhanaṁ param
mayā te samudāhṛtam
etat—this; payaḥ-vratam—ceremony known as payo-vrata; nāma—by that name; puruṣa-ārādhanam—the process of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead; param—the best; pitāmahena—by my grandfather, Lord Brahmā; abhihitam—stated; mayā—by me; te—unto you; samudāhṛtam—described in all details.
This is the religious ritualistic ceremony known as payo-vrata, by which one may worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I received this information from Brahmā, my grandfather, and now I have described it to you in all details.
tvaṁ cānena mahā-bhāge
samyak cīrṇena keśavam
ātmanā śuddha-bhāvena
niyatātmā bhajāvyayam
tvam ca—you also; anena—by this process; mahā-bhāge—O greatly fortunate one; samyak cīrṇena—executed properly; keśavam—unto Lord Keśava; ātmanā—by oneself; śuddha-bhāvena—in a pure state of mind; niyata-ātmā—controlling oneself; bhaja—go on worshiping; avyayam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is inexhaustible.
O most fortunate lady, establishing your mind in a good spirit, execute this process of payo-vrata and thus worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Keśava, who is inexhaustible.
ayaṁ vai sarva-yajñākhyaḥ
sarva-vratam iti smṛtam
tapaḥ-sāram idaṁ bhadre
dānaṁ ceśvara-tarpaṇam
ayam—this; vai—indeed; sarva-yajña—all kinds of religious rituals and sacrifices; ākhyaḥ—called; sarva-vratam—all religious ceremonies; iti—thus; smṛtam—understood; tapaḥ-sāram—the essence of all austerities; idam—this; bhadre—O good lady; dānam—acts of charity; ca—and; īśvara—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tarpaṇam—the process of pleasing.
This payo-vrata is also known as sarva-yajña. In other words, by performing this sacrifice one can perform all other sacrifices automatically. This is also acknowledged to be the best of all ritualistic ceremonies. O gentle lady, it is the essence of all austerities, and it is the process of giving charity and pleasing the supreme controller.
Ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param. This is a statement made by Lord Śiva to Pārvatī. Worshiping Lord Viṣṇu is the supreme process of worship. And how Lord Viṣṇu is worshiped in this payo-vrata ceremony has now been fully described. The ultimate goal of life is to please Lord Viṣṇu by varṇāśrama-dharma. The Vedic principles of four varṇas and four āśramas are meant for worship of Viṣṇu (viṣṇur ārādhyate puṁsāṁ nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam). The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is also viṣṇu-ārādhanam, or worship of Lord Viṣṇu, according to the age. The payo-vrata method of viṣṇu-ārādhanam was enunciated long, long ago by Kaśyapa Muni to his wife, Aditi, in the heavenly planets, and the same process is bona fide on earth even now. Especially for this age of Kali, the process accepted by the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to open hundreds and thousands of Viṣṇu temples (temples of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Jagannātha, Balarāma, Sītā-Rāma, Gaura-Nitāi and so on). Performing prescribed worship in such temples of Viṣṇu and thus worshiping the Lord is as good as performing the payo-vrata ceremony recommended here. The payo-vrata ceremony is performed from the first to the thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of the moon, but in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement Lord Viṣṇu is worshiped in every temple according to a schedule of twenty-four hours of engagement in performing kīrtana, chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, offering palatable food to Lord Viṣṇu and distributing this food to Vaiṣṇavas and others. These are authorized activities, and if the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement stick to these principles, they will achieve the same result one gains by observing the payo-vrata ceremony. Thus the essence of all auspicious activities, such as performing yajña, giving in charity, observing vratas, and undergoing austerities, is included in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. The members of this movement should immediately and sincerely follow the processes already recommended. Of course, sacrifice is meant to please Lord Viṣṇu. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ: [SB 11.5.32] in Kali-yuga, those who are intelligent perform the saṅkīrtana-yajña. One should follow this process conscientiously.
ta eva niyamāḥ sākṣāt
ta eva ca yamottamāḥ
tapo dānaṁ vrataṁ yajño
yena tuṣyaty adhokṣajaḥ
te—that is; eva—indeed; niyamāḥ—all regulative principles; sākṣāt—directly; te—that is; eva—indeed; ca—also; yama-uttamāḥ—the best process of controlling the senses; tapaḥ—austerities; dānam—charity; vratam—observing vows; yajñaḥ—sacrifice; yena—by which process; tuṣyati—is very pleased; adhokṣajaḥ—the Supreme Lord, who is not perceived by material senses.
This is the best process for pleasing the transcendental Supreme Personality of Godhead, known as Adhokṣaja. It is the best of all regulative principles, the best austerity, the best process of giving charity, and the best process of sacrifice.
The Supreme Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (18.66):
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.” Unless one pleases the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to His demand, no good result will come from any of his actions.
“The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.” (Bhāg. 1.2.8) If one is not interested in satisfying Lord Viṣṇu, Vāsudeva, all his so-called auspicious activities are fruitless. Moghāśā mogha-karmāṇo mogha-jñānā vicetasaḥ: [Bg. 9.12] because he is bewildered, he is baffled in his hopes, baffled in his activities, and baffled in his knowledge. In this regard, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī remarks, napuṁsakam anapuṁsakenety-ādinaikatvam. One cannot equate the potent and the impotent. Among modern Māyāvādīs it has become fashionable to say that whatever one does or whatever path one follows is all right. But these are all foolish statements. Here it is forcefully affirmed that this is the only method for success in life. Īśvara-tarpaṇaṁ vinā sarvam eva viphalam. Unless Lord Viṣṇu is satisfied, all of one’s pious activities, ritualistic ceremonies and yajñas are simply for show and have no value. Unfortunately, foolish people do not know the secret of success. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know that real self-interest ends in pleasing Lord Viṣṇu.
tasmād etad vrataṁ bhadre
prayatā śraddhayācara
bhagavān parituṣṭas te
varān āśu vidhāsyati
tasmāt—therefore; etat—this; vratam—observance of a vrata ceremony; bhadre—my dear gentle lady; prayatā—by observing rules and regulations; śraddhayā—with faith; ācara—execute; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; parituṣṭaḥ—being very satisfied; te—unto you; varān—benedictions; āśu—very soon; vidhāsyati—will bestow.
Therefore, my dear gentle lady, follow this ritualistic vow, strictly observing the regulative principles. By this process, the Supreme Person will very soon be pleased with you and will satisfy all your desires.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Sixteenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Executing the Payo-vrata Process of Worship.”

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