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Monday, June 27, 2011

Śrīmad Bhāgavat 8th canto

These are some of my favorite verses from and comments on the 8th Canto of Srimad Bhagavat -

8.3.8 - na vidyate yasya ca janma karma vā
na nāma-rūpe guṇa-doṣa eva vā
tathāpi lokāpyaya-sambhavāya yaḥ
sva-māyayā tāny anukālam ṛcchati

“He who has no birth or activities, no name or form, no qualities or faults, accepts birth and activities as Brahmā and Śiva at the time creation and destruction by his energies of rajas and tamas for creating and destroying the universe.”

Viṣṇu’s task of maintenance is not mentioned in this verse because His activities are transcendental.
Śrī Jīva Goswāmī gives this explanation in Bhagavat Sandarbha [35]:

"The Lord has no birth or activities, but by his svarūpa-śakti (sva-māyayā) he accepts birth and activities. One may say, “Since He attains birth and activities, those are temporary events.” Explanation: “The Lord continually (anukālam) attains them. This means He never gives up birth and activities. Being manifested through the svarūpa-śakti and being eternal are supportive of each other. “

One may argue, “How can birth and pastimes be eternal? They are both actions. An action and each of its parts are defined in terms a beginning and end. Without that, the action’s very form would disappear.”

Explanation – “There is no fault, for the following reasons. Because the Lord always has an eternal form, that form is eternally manifest. Because of this, the Lord’s pastimes with birth and activities are also eternal. Thus the individuality and manifestation of associates in the pastimes and the places in unlimited Vaikuṇṭhas and unlimited universes are also eternal. The beginning and end of actions revealed by the Lord’s form are located in one place, but when the part of the birth and actions are completed in that place, that part begins in another universe. Since the Lord is eternal because of having no destruction, the birth and activities exist elsewhere after being completed in one place. The birth and activities begin somewhere else, sometimes a little different because of differences in details and sometimes exactly the same because of sameness of the details. One form becomes a different abode of action by manifesting separately.”

Here Jīva Goswāmī does not support kalpavāda, that Kṛṣṇa-līlā differs according to the age in which He performs it.

Śrī Jīva continues:
One may argue , “Why do you say that the birth and activities continue to exist? Because the birth and activities begin separately in different universes, they become new birth and activities.”

Explanation – “There is oneness of the actions of the same form which appears at different times. Similarly, one can say the word “cow” twice, but that does not mean there are two words to indicate a cow: Viśvanātha quotes Śaṅkarācārya’s Śarīraka bhāṣya - dvir-go-śabdobhayam uccarito na tu dvau go-śabdau. In the same way, if the word `cooked' is repeated twice, that does not mean that the food was twice cooked. Thus the Lord’s birth and activities have an eternal nature, and meditation on pastimes that Kṛṣṇa previously performed, a meditation which is prescribed in the scriptures, is proper (since the pastimes are actually eternal, not destroyed). “

Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda writes in his commentary on Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi [1.21]: “Kṛṣṇa was bathed by mother Surabhi [cow] after lifting Govardhana and received the name Govinda. But long before this, if the names are not eternal, how could the women of Vraja, placing syllables on Kṛṣṇa's body after he drank the milk of Putana , say krīḍantam pātu govindaḥ [S.B. 10.6.25]: May Govinda protect you while you play? They also said in the Veṇu-Gīta, before the govinda-abhiṣeka, govinda-veṇum anumatta-mayūra-nṛtyam: The peacocks dance madly after hearing Govinda’s flute. (SB 10.21.10) Thus the name corresponding to the form doing the activity has an eternal nature describing the activity. These will gradually manifest in this world in order that the devotees experience rasa from them. “ In the same purport Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda states that there is a 'māyik brahmāṇḍa' ['false universe', more like a parallel universe] where Kṛṣṇa's pastimes continue even when the material universes are unmanifest [to fulfill the eternality of Kṛṣṇa's transcendental pastimes] - dvitīyāyāḥ kāryaṁ tu sārvadikam eva mahā-pralaye’pi virājamāna-kṛṣṇa-līlopakaraṇa-bhūtasya māyika-brahmāṇḍasya.

8.3.19 - This is a second verse, after 1.6.28, which mentions the existence of the siddha deha, and also that it is not dormant but is bestowed (rāti).

8.6.20 arayo’pi hi sandheyāḥ sati kāryārtha-gaurave
ahi-mūṣikavad devā hy arthasya padavīṁ gataiḥ
“Enemies must be won over by alliance. Once you have achieved your purpose you may act with your enemy as a snake does with a mouse.”

Śrīdhar Swāmī comments: arthasya prayojanasya padavīṁ siddhiṁ prāptaiḥ paścād ahi-mūṣakavad vadhya-ghātaka-bhāvena vartitavyam iti śeṣaḥ | yad vā, peṭikāyāṁ niruddho’hir yathā nirgama-dvāra-vidhānārthaṁ prathamaṁ mūṣakeṇa sandhiṁ vidhatte, paścāt tam eva kadācid bhakṣayati, tathā’rtha-mārga-pravṛttaiḥ prathamaṁ sandheyā ity arthaḥ – “Opportunity alliances between enemies against a common enemy are very unstable. The snake first makes a truce or alliance with the mouse if they are both trapped in a box, and then, when they managed to escape with combined force the snake may still eat the mouse.”

Interfaith dialog similarly usually leads nowhere. The USA and USSR ganged up against Hitler and afterwards fought a 45-year long cold war with each other.

8.9.9-11 do not say that all women are untrustworthy. They first of all speak of wanton women (puṁścalyāṁ, verse 9, and svairiṇīnāṁ, verse 10), not women in general, and it is also explained in verse 11 that Mohini was just teasing and joking (iti te kṣvelitais tasyā) about herself and therefore did not speak serious philosophy. Śri Viśvanāth Cakravartīpāda comments on verse 9: kāminīṣv iti yadyapy ahaṁ yuṣmad-anubhavena śuddhaiva bhavāmi tad api yauvana-vattvād ābhyantaraḥ kāmo’numeya eva kāmavattve strītve ca kāminī pati-pitrādy-āvaraṇābhāvāt svairiṇy api kathaṁ na bhavāmīty aviśvāsyaiva sarvathā bhavadbhir aham iti bhāvaḥ "Though in your estimation I am pure, still, because I am young and unprotected by husband and father, I am a lusty wanton woman - how can I then not be untrustworthy?" This, especially in the Vedic context, is an exceptional situation, not a general rule. Needless to say, wanton women - as well as men - are untrustworthy.

8.9.18 - The significance of God becoming a woman to get the nectar from the demons is that women get things done easier than men - salespersons in shops are usually women, female ambassadors get more done than male ambassadors. Latent sexual desire works like that - a woman gets things done by her natural attractiveness to men.

8.12.28 - Shiva should not be seen as doing anything degraded, but just like Maharāja Yudhiṣṭhira showed what one should NOT do by gambling away his wife, Shiva here shows how infatuated one can get by a woman. Here it is described that he grabbed Mohinī by the hair, keśabandha upanīya, and then embraced her, bāhubhyam parisasvaje. To pull a woman by the hair is very painful and violent, Duḥśāśan did the same thing to Draupadī, so the embrace that followed the grabbing of the hair cannot be seen as an act of tenderness. This is how lust works - the man flatters the woman by giving her presents, praising her with his words and pleasing her in all manners, before she gives herself to him, but as soon as she yields to his avances he becomes violent, during the sex act. This shows that lust is really not love but an act of violence only.

8.12.34 - Shiva followed Mohinī everywhere to show to all the sages around there that even if one has controlled the mind one should not have faith in a young woman. It is not that the woman cannot be trusted, but the mind of the beholder cannot be trusted. Surely women should not provocate and seduce, but even if they do, if a man's mind is controlled he will not be swayed, whereas even a chaste woman could cause agitation in the uncontrolled mind of a lusty man. An animal trainer can spend a long time in a cage with a lion, and think that he has finally trained the animal, but then still the animal may attack and eat him. One should be very careful falsely thinking one’s mind and senses to be permanently controlled.

8.17.20naitat parasmā ākhyeyaṁ pṛṣṭayāpi kathañcana
sarvaṁ sampadyate devi deva-guhyaṁ susaṁvṛtam
“O Devi, even if someone inquires, you should not disclose this fact to anyone. All secret plans of the devatās succeed only when fully concealed.”
Śrī Jīva Goswāmī comments in his Krama-sandarbha: atra śrī-guroḥ śrī-bhagavato vā prasāda-labdhaṁ sādhana-sādhya-gataṁ svīya-sarvasva-bhūtaṁ yat kim api rahasyaṁ, tat tu na kasmaicit prakāśanīyaṁ “The sādhana and sādhya attained by the mercy of Śrī Guru or the Lord is one's all-in-all; it is a secret that should not be disclosed to anyone."
Later, in S.B. 10.24.4-5 it is said that one should not keep secrets but that deals with public undertakings, not a spiritual sādhana.

8.19.36 - Tapas here is glossed as cittaikāgrya, concentration of mind, by both Śrīdhar Swāmī and Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda.  Tapasya does not only mean self-torture, but any type of sādhana,depending on the context of course.

8.23.8 - līlā visṛṣṭa bhuvanasya viśāradasya - The world is created as a pastime of the Lord only. This is a sidelong refutation of fall-vāda. It does not say the Lord created the world as a prison for rebellious souls.

8.24.48 - Shiva's tears produced silver and gold, as He took birth, according to the Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda (yad arodīt tad rudrasya rudratvaṁ yad aśrv avaśīryata tad rajataṁ hiraṇyam abhavat iti śruteḥ). According to Mahābhārat, seeing the effrontery of mankind, Shiva shed a tear which turned into a tree which produces Rudrākṣa (=eye of Shiva) beads before he released His mighty arrow to destroy the three cities (tripura) for the welfare of creation."
Shiva cried to Brahmā for a name. See also S.B. 3.12.7 and 3.12.10.

According to the Shiva Purana, the berries of the Rudrākṣa-tree represent the tears of Rudra which he shed in a mood of despondency soon after he awoke from his meditative state. Amazed by the beauty of his own tears he crystallized them into the shape of seeds and distributed them among the four castes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Śrīmad Bhāgavat, canto 7, part 3

This is the third and final part of my selection of favorite verses of, and commentaries on the 7th Canto Bhāgavat -

7.13.24, ṭīkā by Viśvanāth Cakravartīpāda - "The insatiable desires that propel the stream of birth and death are compared to rivers. The rains thrown by Indra are filling these rivers, but the sense objects created by Brahmä do not fill (or fulfill) the rivers of desire. Just as there are logs, grass, pebbles and thorns floating in the river, similarly I have also entered animal- demigod- and other species. Scared of crocodiles, turtles and whirlpools I have thought of different ways to be saved from them. Similarly I am scared of lust, anger, disease, thirst, hunger, birth and death, and I have done many things to be saved from them, but nothing helped. Just as one might sometimes find a sand island in the middle of the river, with four paths on it, I have also attained this human body while floating in the river of birth and death. From there one can either find a place of permanent peace or one can go back floating in the river. Similarly in this river of birth and death there is the demigod-body which is attained through virtuous acts performed in the human body with its insatiable desires, animal bodies like that of a pig, that are attained through sin, and the human body which is attained through a mixture of sin and virtue, and finally liberation, which is attained through the practise of jñāna."

7.14.11 - "Even one's wife should be offered for the reception of guests" - there have been quite some naughty interpretations of this verse but this is not what the ācāryas comment on it. Śrīdhara Swāmī warns - na tv anyathā mantavyaḥ (“One should not think otherwise”), and this is quoted by Viśvanāth Cakravartīpāda in turn.

There is the story that when Bilvamangal was a travelling sādhu he came to the house of a gṛhastha and asked the wife of the gṛhastha in charity. When the gṛhastha complied Bilvamangal, by that time becoming repentant, asked the lady's hairpin and jabbed his own eyes out, so he would never be visually attracted to women again. Neither of these things should be done - either asking a wife in charity or jabbing one's eyes out. There are unscrupulous sādhus who create a lot of offspring in the wombs of other men’s wives, in full knowledge of their husbands, who consider it an honor to thus serve a sādhu. In this commentary it is clear that this is not an authorized sādhu sevā. Also poking one's eyes out to avoid attraction is quite useless, as the desires are not removed from the heart in this way. King Dhṛtaraṣṭra was born blind, yet he found his way to Queen Gāndhārī still - they had 100 children.

7.14.39 - tretādiṣu harer arcā - Deity worship was introduced in Treta Yuga. Jīva Goswāmī comments on this in Bhakti Sandarbha [290]: pratimā svalpa-buddhīnām ity atra ca alpa-buddhīnām apīty arthaḥ - The śāstras sometimes say that the deity is for the less intelligent, but this is mean 'even for the less intelligent' nṛsiṁha-purānādau brahmāmbarīṣādīnām api tat-pūjā-śravaṇāt - "Because in Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa and other śāstras it is heard that even Brahmā and Ambarīṣa worshiped deities." In our sampradāya deity-worship is not considered only for the less intelligent.

7.15.25 — etat sarvaṁ gurau bhaktyā puruṣo hyanjasā jayet - This is one of the major statements in the Bhāgavat - 'all anarthas, that can be conquered in the above ways in the above verses, can be easily conquered all at once by devotion to the Guru." Viśvanāth Cakravartīpāda’s tika - atra kāmādi jayo jñānināṁ gurubhakter anusaṁhitaṁ phalaṁ śuddha bhaktānāṁ tvānuṣaṅgikam iti viśeṣo draṣṭavyaḥ. “For the jñānīs, victory over lust is the main result of guru bhakti, for the pure devotees it is a side effect.” Guru bhakti is of course the center piece of Gauḍīya Bhakti, aiming at the achievement of prema.

7.15.26 - In his verse-translation Bhānu Swāmī calls the Guru a 'spiritual expansion of the Lord' - this, however, is diametrically opposed to the word sākṣād in the text and the commentary, which says: sākṣād bhagavatīti bhagavad aṁśa-buddhir api gurau na kāryeti bhāvaḥ. yad vā upāsye bhagavatyeva sākṣād vidyamāne martyā’sad dhīḥ martya iti durbuddhis tasya śrutaṁ bhagavan mantrādikaṁ śāstrādikaṁ śravaṇa mananādikaṁ ca vyartham ityarthaḥ «Sākṣād Bhagavān means one should not even see the Guru as a particle of God, but as God Himself. It is foolish if one sees God, who is directly present (in the form of the Guru) as a mortal. If a fool thinks the Guru is an ordinary mortal not only his learning, but also his practise of his mantra, his hearing and his meditation on the Lord are all in vain. »

7.15.27 - Śrīdhara Swāmī comments on this verse: lokasya naro’sāv iti buddhir bhrāntir ity arthaḥ 'It is only the mistake of the people's intelligence that 'he (the Guru) is a human being'.
Viśvanāth Cakravartīpāda confirms this more elaborately in his own comment: nanu guroḥ pitṛ putrādayaḥ prativeśinaś ca taṁ naram eva manyante katham eka evāyaṁ śiṣyas taṁ parameśvaraṁ manyante? ata āha – eṣa iti bhagavān yadunandano raghunandano vā vai niścitam eva pradhāna puruṣayor īśvaraḥ yaṁ lokas tad avatāra kālotpanno janaḥ naraṁ manyate tena kiṁ sa naro bhavati? api tu parameśvara evetyevaṁ guror apīti bhāvaḥ “If his parents, children and neighbors consider the Guru to be a human being then how can one disciple consider him to be the supreme controller (parameśvara)? To this it is said: When the master of the material nature and the living beings descends as Yadunandana (Kṛṣṇa) or Raghunandana (Rāma) and people who meet Him while He is down here on earth, take Him to be a human being, does that mean that He is? He is certainly the supreme controller, and so is the Guru.”

7.15.47 - Viśvanāth Cakravartīpāda’s ṭīkānanu viṣaya-bhogo’pi śāstreṇa vihito na tu kevalaṁ niṣiddha eva – “Even sense enjoyment is enjoined in śāstra - it is not merely forbidden.” satyam adhikāri-bhedāt phala-bhedāc ca tatra vyavasthā draṣṭavyety āha - "Truly it is arranged [enjoined] according to eligibility and its results."

gṛhastha āśram is like a pedestrian refuge on the highway - if there would be no such refuge a broken down car would be smashed by other approaching cars. There must be one ashram where there is no pressure of renunciation on the sādhaka, where he/she can work on elevation while at the same time catering to the urges of the senses. adhikārī bheda, 'eligibility', here means that the license is given for those who are really totally unable to control their senses, yet also want to make progress in spiritual life. This is also encouraging in grass-roots preaching, that anyone in any stage of life or culture can take to bhakti immediately. Though a devotee should of course follow Vaiṣṇava principles, still purity is not a prerequisite for the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa - anyone who has a heart for it can participate. saj-jana, durjana, paṅgu, jaḍa, andha-gaṇa prema-bonyāya ḍubāila jagatera jana (CC Adi 7.26) 'The good, the bad, the lame, the dull and the blind - all people of the world were inundated by the flood of prema.' Sin is not an obstacle, but aparādha is - māyāvādī karma niṣṭha kutarkika gaṇa ninduk pāṣāṇḍī joto poruwa adham (29-30) 'Illusionists, those fixed in fruitive work, false logicians, critics, atheists and fallen bookworms could not be touched by the flood of prema'. We have seen that often with over-intelligent ex-devotees, who eventually feel they are smarter than śāstra and the ācāryas. Also, the above license for sense enjoyment should also not be seen as making fallen devotees equal to devotees in good standing. After uplifting and encouraging fallen devotees in Bhagavad Gītā (9.30-32, api cet sudurācāro, kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā and māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya) Kṛṣṇa does acknowledge that the pure devotees are in an advantage - kiṁ punar brāhmaṇā puṇya bhakta rājārṣayas tathā - 'What to speak of the brahmins, the pious, the devotees and the saintly kings?' (Bhagavad Gītā 9.33)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Two jewel-like verses

These are two jewel-like verses I read on the internet in recent days -

ekaḥ prajāyate jantur eka eva pralīyate
eko'nubhuṅkte sukṛtam eka eva ca duṣkṛtam

"One is born alone, one dies alone.
One enjoys one's good karma alone and one suffers one's bad karma alone."

(Manu Samhita 4.240, recently quoted in 'Practical Sanskrit')

However much one may love one's child or spouse or friend, one must helplessly watch them suffer diseases without being able to take them over from them. However desperately we want to keep our beloved Guru, friend or parent with us, we must helplessly watch them leave their bodies right in front of us.

Another jewel-like verse recently read on the web (The Enquirer):

likhita granthera yadi kori anuvāda
tabe se granthera artha pāiye āsvāda

(Caitanya Caritāmṛta, ādi līlā 17.311)

"If I repeat (translate) scriptures that were already written, I will relish the meaning of these scriptures."

Sadly I did not notice this verse earlier, in the 1980s and 90s, when I was translating all these amazing and marvellous scriptures, but yes it is a fact - translation work is like a microscope in that we get deep realizations about what is being written there - and it is also like a press that squeezes the juice out of the sugarcane, allowing us to relish the transcendental nectar-juice of it as well. Another interesting thing about this verse is that it shows the function of Caitanya Caritāmṛta as a Bengali summary of all the Goswamis' books, of which Kṛṣṇadas Kavirāja was the mere broadcaster.

Both verses are added to the file 'Wisdoms' on my website madangopal.com

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Śrīmad Bhāgavat, Canto 7, part 2

7.9.46  vārtā bhavantyuta na vātra tu dambhikānām – ‘All kinds of penance and pious conduct can be just a means of livelihood for hypocrites’. Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments: te tu prāyaśo’jitendriyāṇām indriya-bhogāyārthārthaṁ vikrīṇatāṁ vārtā jīvanopāyā bhavanti. dāmbhikānāṁ tu vārtā api bhavanti vā na vā. dambhasyāniyata-phalatvāt - "All the different practises of tapasya mentioned in this verse can be used as means of livelihood and even sense enjoyment for those with uncontrolled senses. It is not so, though, that all tapasvis will become such imposters."

It is poignant to see that such abuse took place even thousands of years ago, when the Bhāgavat was written. Especially in India, where people have very simple faith, it is easy to mislead them by cheaply putting some beads on, growing a beard and dressing in some fantastic outfit to be special and maintain one's family with their donations.

7.9.49 viramanti śabdāt – “Knowing Kṛṣṇa's glories are endless, the wise cease Vedic studies.” Śrīdhara Swāmī and Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda quote the Upaniṣads - taj jñānaṁ tvad-bhaktyaiva bhaven, na tu śāstrādhyayana-buddhi-kauśalādibhir ity āha—neti  "Such knowledge is attained through bhakti, not through scriptural study nor through intellectual cleverness." Śruti says kim-arthā vayam adhyeṣyāmahe kim-arthā vayaṁ yakṣyāmahe "For what reason will we understand and what meaning shall we speak?" and nānudhyāyed bahūn śabdān vāco-viglāpanaṁ hi tad (Bṛhad Āraṇyaka Upaniṣad) "Do not contemplate many words, it gives merely fatigue from speaking."

This (as well as verse 46) could come straight out of a sermon by Sādhu Bābā. One must be cautious, though, not to stop reading śāstra in an immature stage, it will lead to bewilderment and downfall, as Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda points out in his ṭīkā of Bhagavad Gītā 2.52.

7.9.52 Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda writes in his ṭīkātena prahlāda-buddhi-viṣayī-kṛtās tāt-kālikā jīvā nistīrṇā eva, jīvānām ānantyāt tad anyair eva jīvais tad-anantaraṁ brahmāṇḍam apūrīti jñeyam "The jīvas of whom Prahlada was thinking would be liberated, but since there is no end to the number of jivas, afterwards the universe would be full of them still anyway." pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate [Iśopaniṣad] - "If you subtract the full from the full, what remains is the full."

7.10.5  na svāmī bhṛtyataḥ svāmyam icchan yo rāti cāśiṣaḥ - This refers to big Gurus who flatter powerful politicians and rich merchants to secure their power and wealth for themselves.

7.10.13 Bhānu Swāmī writes an apt footnote here to the last sentence of Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda's ṭīkā where he says: evaṁ prahlādasyāṁśena sādhana-siddhatvaṁ nitya-siddhatvaṁ ca nāradādivaj jñeyam – “Like Nārada, Prahlāda is partly sādhana siddha and partly nitya siddha.” Bhānu Swāmī says: 'They are actually nitya siddha, but they also take forms of sādhana siddhas during the Lord's pastimes'. I would add to that that this also goes for the six Goswāmīs - they acted as sādhakas in Puri, Bengal and Braja but are actually nitya siddha mañjarīs.

7.10.30  varaṁ krūra nisargāṇām ahīnām amṛtaṁ yathā - Do not give nectar to a demon, it is like giving milk to a snake - it just increases their venom. It is like throwing pearls before swine.

7.10.39 The transformation from worms to wasp due to absorption in enmity does not take place in the same lifetime, it is shown by the word ante, it happens at the end of life.

7.11.13 – saṁskāra mantravanto garbhādhānādayo yasmin sa dvijaḥ. vichinna saṁskāro dvijabandhur ityarthaḥ. ajo brahmā yaṁ jagādeti brahma sṛṣṭyārambhata eva pravṛttāyāṁ dvija jātau viśuddha mātā pitṛkaṁ janmaiva mukhyalakṣaṇam ityarthaḥ. A person who performs saṁskāras, rituals like garbhādhāna with mantras, is called a dvija. A person with interrupted saṁskāras is called a friend of the dvijas. This was practised from the moment Brahmā created the world. The main characteristic of the twice born caste is birth from a pure mother and father.

7.11.33-34 These are the verses about extinguishing the fire of lust by throwing too much ghee on it (over-indulgence). Though I always thought these verses apply to the shudra race, this is not mentioned either in the ṭīkās or in the preceding ślokas. Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda mentions Yayāti and Saubhari as examples in his comments, neither whom were śūdras: "Because it is impossible for a person with excessive material desires to give them up at once, the śāstras will allow him to enjoy with an honest heart rather than forbid the enjoyment altogether. Eventually then detachment will take place. Examples are Yayāti and Saubharī. After much cultivation sometimes a field is no longer suitable for germinating seeds, which may be destroyed by the acidic soil. The heart in which desire abides in abundance as various impressions, gradually becomes detached. A fire is not extinguished by sprinkling drops of ghee on it but by pouring a huge amount of ghee on it. Similarly desire is extinguished by a huge amount of indulgence."

7.11.35 — kiṁ ca yasya puṁso varṇābhivyañjakaṁ yallakṣaṇaṁ varṇaṁ brāhmaṇādi jātiṁ abhivyañjayati yattacca sāmānyato vihitam eva śama-damādikaṁ na tu viśeṣato vihitam sandhyopāstādikaṁ yadyanyatra jātyantare'pi dṛśyeta tajjātyantaram api tenaiva brāhmaṇādi śabdenaiva vinirdiśet iti brāhmaṇādi tulyādaraṁ lakṣayati. na ca para dharma bhayāvahaḥ iti vācyam. śama-damādīnāṁ para dharmatrābhāvād iti bhāvaḥ. “If a man designated by a particular varṇa shows the qualities of another varṇa, he should be classified according to that other varṇa and he should be called by that name such as brāhmaṇa. What is meant by showing qualities is showing general qualities like control of the senses and the mind, not particular actions like performing sandhya-rites. This means he should be given respect like a brāhmaṇa. One should not say that performing another’s dharma is dangerous [as in Bhagavad Gītā 3.35], since attaining qualities like control of the mind and senses is not another’s dharma.” This is in line with Jīva Goswāmī’s commentary on Śrīmad Bhāgavat 3.33.6 in which he says that the dog-eater who chants the name of the Lord is to be given respect but not that he can literally perform Vedic sacrifices without first being born as a Brahmin. Here too Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda focuses on pious qualities like control of the mind and senses, not on non-brāhmins’ adhikāra for performing Vedic sacrifices.”

7.12.11 This verse does not mean that the gṛhastha needs permission from the Guru to make a child. The words guru vṛtti do not mean ‘permission from Guru’. guru vṛttir vikalpena means ‘the service of the Guru is optional for the gṛhastha, who is tu-gāmī, approaching the wife in her season. At that time Guru service is not possible. The context of the sentence is the brahmacārī’s duty of serving the Guru, which may not be possible for the gṛhastha, who usually does not live with the Guru. Ācārya Vīra-Rāghava comments: gurvī vṛttir gurvānuvṛttiḥ strī-saṅga rāhityādi rūpā brahmacarya vṛttiḥ gṛhasthasya tu vikalpena kadācid bhavet kadācin na syāt. kadā na bhavet? ....ṛtu-gāmina iti. ṛtu gāmitvād guru vṛtti vikalpa iti bhāvaḥ. ṛtu-kāleṣu guru vṛttir nāstīti ca bhāvaḥ. asyā vṛttir duṣkaratvābhiprāyeṇa gurviti viśeṣaṇam upāttam. “The brahmacārī does not associate with women, so he can constantly serve the Guru, but that is not so for the gṛhastha, who can sometimes do and sometimes not do this service. When can he not do? .... When he approaches his wife in the season. Then serving the Guru becomes an option. In the seasonal time the Guru is not served, for it will be difficult to accomplish.” Bhānu Swāmī translates Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda's tika as 'the person decides when he will have children or not'.

7.13.7 Madhvācārya comments: na vyākhyāyopajīveta - A sannyāsī should not make a living off explaining śāstra. Sridhara Swami says jalpa-vitaṇḍādi niṣṭhā 'Fixed in talking and arguing frivolously'. Also it applies to prestigious debates - one wants to establish one's own prestige by winning so many philosophical debates. Rūpa Goswāmī, when challenged by Vallabha Bhaṭṭa, readily admitted, out of humility and because he wanted to do his service in peace - that his Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu needed editing.

7.13.8 The sannyāsī should not take disciples out of greed or by force, not should he build temples and āśrams. If he manages a building, how can he be a wanderer [parivrājaka, as mentioned in 7.13.1]? na vyākhyām upayuñjīta [do not undertake scriptural explanations] could, in the modern days, be interpreted as 'not publishing books', as in the days of the Bhāgavat there were no printing presses yet. granthān naivābhyased bahūn - He should not study too many scriptures. Mahāprabhu was a big scholar when He was a gṛhastha, but there is no description of Him studying after taking sannyāsa. Canakya Paṇḍit reminds us that life is short and too much time is lost in intellectual pursuit – ananta śāstraṁ bahulaś ca vidyā svalpaś ca kālo bahu vighnatā ca.

7.13.21 - apavarga means here causeless devotion to Bhagavan, not liberation that destroys devotion.