“The Geeta: as a Chaitanyite reads it” by Tridandi Swami B.H. Bon, "Chapter Seven : God's Grace and Beauty"

SREE Bhagavan said : "I have told thee
About Jnana and Yoga leading to salvation
Which depends on the practice of selfless Karma-
That purifies thy heart.
Now I shal deal with Bhakti.
Hearken to Me, Partha ! thou shalt acquire
Full knowledge concerning Me, My Attributes and
I shall leave thee no room for doubt
That I am the Most Supreme,
Being exclusively attached to Me
Within the deepest core of thy heart
Or thy mind profoundly revelling on My thoughts
Due to exclusive attachment to Me,
After thou takest refuse in Me.

THE knowledge of Brahman is not complete
As it is devoid of the positive attributes of the
The conception of Brahman is but the sum of the
Of all earthly bounded qualities
And thus is the negative aspect of the Positive
Who is possessed of all transcendental qualities
As distinct from the triple qualities of Maya.
But this negative description of Brahman is not
It is Sattvik-Jnana,
Irrespective of comprehension by mind or body.
Bhakti is beyond all physical and mental qualities
And is a purely spiritual attribute of the pure soul.
God's Form Divine can only be seen
With the eyes of transcendental love.
Just as sweetmeats are tasted by the tongue,
And not by ears or eyes,
So the supreme Being Sree Krishna may be seen
Only with the eyes of pure devotion,
Which is the normal and eternal function of the
And not by any sattvika Jnana or Yoga,
However extra-mundane it may be.
A tongue which is embittered by the bile of ignorance
Tastes not the sweetness in the chanting of the
Lord's Name.
While there the bile of Karma, Jnana or of Yoga
A person finds no relish in the service of Sree
Which is Bhakti.
THE knowledge," the Lord said,
"Which My devotees acquire about Myself
Before they grow devoted unto Me,
Is that related to My lordliness and splendour.
Now I shall give thee knowledge
Regarding My supernatural Grace and Beauty,
That which cannot be realised until
A firm devotion and loving attachment is extended
unto Me.
When thou dost know this, thy thirst for any other
knowledge ceases
And nothing else remains for thee to know."
The Jnanins and the Yogins mentioned
May easily attain to Brahma-Jnana-
Non-differentiated Knowledge-
By their empiric line of thought;
But transcendental knowledge of the Lord Supreme
Which is distinct from knowledge about Brahman,
Lies yet beyond their ken.
"Man is scarce among the sentient being beings;
Very few among their countless thousands
Strive for their eternal welfare,
And infinitely few among the perfect souls
Do know Me as the Lord Supreme,
Who am the Acme of All-beauty
Possessed of an All-loving and Two-armed Eternal
In very truth, there is a rarity among My devotees
Who grasp the super-excellence of My most blissful
Distinct from the Impersonal Brahman
Who is only a Negative Manifestation of My Own

KNOWLEDGE concerning the Supreme and His
Eternal Nature
Is called transcendental knowledge.
Sree Krishna says here: "I have an eternal Form.
I and My Form are one.
I am endowed with potencies;
Brahman is but an attributeless aspect
Of a particular potentiality of My Form.
Brahman has no form Himself
Existing only in a negative relation
To worldly attributes and things.
Paramatman is the Aspect of Mine Immanence
That manifests upon the earthly plane,

THAT which I call the External Potency
Is known as My Deluding Energy or Maya,
From which arises all this ever-changing chain of
She is also called Apara or Inferior Prakriti
In her relation to the Universe consisting of five
The earth, water, fire air and ether
And their five corresponding properties-
Smell, taste, sight, touch and sound.
Besides these, there are three more subtle principles:
Perverted ego and intelligence and mind.
The perverted ego works with the assistance of
eleven senses.
Intelligence and mind, though diverse in their subtle
Are in their broader aspect much the same.
"Intelligence" refers to Mahat,
And mind doth signify Pradhan.
All these eight principles and their concomitants-
An aggregate of twenty-four-
Arise from My External Potency, Maya.

BESIDES this Inferior Potency-
She is inferior through her concern with
earthly matter-
There is another Potency known as Tatastha
Or the Boarder-line Potency.
The superiority of this Para or Tatastha Potency
Lies in the fact that she is spiritual
And from this Potency all beings emanate.
Thus emanated, the countless jivas or souls
Have, O mighty-armed ! accepted this material
As their objective for enjoyment.
The transcendental Realm is ever manifest from My
Internal Potency,
And the material Universe is a result of My External
Whereas the Jiva-potency can well be influenced
From either side, for she is in bewteen.
Hence she is called Tatastha-potency.
She is superior to the External or Apara-potency
As she may exercise initaitive
And utilise phenomena for her own service.

BOTH the sentient and insentient worlds
Have come into existence through these
Know thou, Arjuna, then, that these two Potencies
Are the material causes of all things-
Animate and inanimate.
I am the Lord of all these potencies
And they belong to Me.
Therefore I am the Efficient Cause of all creation
And of the destruction of these many worlds.
O Dhananjaya !
I am the Primal Cause of every object.
Pervade I every atom.
Without Mine Own Existence nothing could exist.
Thus I am the fluid sap in water;
I am the light of the sun and moon;
I am the Pranab or trancendental Sound within the
And I am the virility in man.

O Son of Kunti ! none else is superior to Me.
I am the Cause of all causes.
The whole universe exists within Me
Interwoven as the pearls upon a garland string.
I am the fragrance in the earth;
I am the heat and brilliance in the fire,
Capable of burning objects and illuminating darkness
I am the life in all things living;
And the endurance in austere ascetics.
Know Me, O Partha ! the eternal seed of every
I am the discerning light of the intelligent,
The noble prowess of the brave.
I am the strength of the energetic,
Devoid of passion and of anger;
I am the desire in all male beings
For procreating children, O lord of the Bharatas !
Unopposed to sacrament religious.

ALL manifestations of Sattva, Rajas and of Tamas
Are the qualities and actions of My Cosmic
I am independent of such attributes and actions
Which are all subordinate,
Dependent on My Potency.
Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are the qualities of cosmic
By which the whole wold is infatuated.
People, therefore, in their ignorance can never
know Me
As immutable and distinct from them.
The Maya or Deluding Potency belongs to Me alone;
She is therefore normally insuperable by weak and
fallen souls.
Those who sincerely shelter in Me,
Alone may cross the ocean of Maya.
Not by any other means-
Either by following the path of Karma
Or adhering to empiric path of Jnana,
Or submitting to the minor gods-
Or any suchlike means can any individual
Surmount the barriers of Maya.
It is by unconditional submission and surrender
To the service of My transcendental blissful and
loving Self alone,
That man is capable of being free from Maya's
By which the fallen souls are tied to transitory
And rendered thus averse to Me,
The Lord Supreme of all.

OWING to their demoniacal or non-religious
'The wretched', 'the deluded', 'the worst among
And 'those who are deprived of knowledge of Me
by My Maya',
The Deluding Energy, do not take refuge in Me.
The 'wretched' are the moral lepers or immoral
The 'deluded', they who are too much attached to
And strive for earth's amelioration.
They cannot conceive of Absolute Reality
And therefore are devoted to the fleeting realism
Of earthly relativities,
They may be classified as moral atheists;
They cannot realise that I am the Lord of all the Ethics
And not bound Myself by any law whatever.

THE worst among mankind' are those who flaunt
vain gloriously
The vanities of lineage, vast erudition,
Wealth and youthful beauties.
Too blunt they are to understand the higher
principles of life.
'Deprived by Maya of the knowledge of Me'
Are the agnostics, pantheists and atheists
And others, who, though they believe in a spiritual
Accept not the ideal of Bhakti
Or pure loving service unto Me,
Being allured to the danger of salvation or
By the temptations of deluding Maya.
Even though these pedants study the Vedanta,
They remain benighted as to the pure conception
Of My Form Divine, akin to human form,
About the eternal spiritual life of individual souls;
That their relation to material objects
Like the mind and body, and associated objects
Is but transitory;
And that their services unto Me
Form their eternal kindredship to Me.
Those who remain intoxicated
By the sensual enjoyments of the world,
Steeped in the depth of vanities and selfishness
And who regard My devotees as though inferior,
Are people of character demoniac.
Briefly are all wretched,
Who live not in association with My honest devotees.

THOSE pedants who are steeped in ignorance
About My Nature, do not resort to Me.
They may be classified into four groups:
First, the Karmins who are hedonistic in life;
Secondly, those who accept devotion as a means in
the beginning,
But finally abandon it from egotism;
Thirdly, those scholars who, though well versed in
the Scriptures,
Heed not My Divine Descents
And fancy My eternal Form that is akin to human,
To be but mortal, owing to their own infatuation
With My deluding potency or Maya;
And lastly, those who, demoniacal or atheistic in
their nature,
Cast aspersions on My Transcendental Form,
Which, though akin to human form,
Is not of this world but is spiritual.
They even would advance in adverse criticism
Of My eternal Form Divine in My Own Spiritual
Distorting the Scriptures' real meaning
Through their contentious nature
Born of egotism misidentified.

O Arjuna ! the distressed. the enquirers after
The seekers of favours and the wise:
When these four groups of people, O Bharatarsabha,
By My Grace or through the grace of My devotees
Are blessed with godly fortune,
Freed from the distressing, pleasure-seeking,
Wisdom hankering inquisitive defects
Of their condition, they follow in My service.
Very rarely do the evil-doers serve Me
For they attain a meagre minimum of spiritual
Only by a stroke of fortune have they realised Me
and My service.
The four classes of the spiritually blessed
Conforming to a regulated life as ordained by the
Are fit to worship and to serve Me.

THOSE who are engaged in selfish Karma
Desirous of the fruits of actions
Suffer from the frustration of material desires;
But thus afflicted, their hearts are subsequently
By fires of sorrow, and they remember Me:
These are the distressed.
The atheists aforesaid, who, ethical yet ignorant,
Begin to search for real truth and feel the need
Of God's existence, begin to think of Me.
Again the wretched pendants who,
Dissatisfied with limited conceptions of Me
As Lord Supreme of all ethics and religion,
Turn out to be My ritualistic devotees
And keep Me in Memory by such performances.
When the Jnanins, who have the macroscopic
knowledge of Brahman, the Great,
And the Yogins who possess the microscopic
Knowledge of the Paramatma,
The Indwelling Over-soul, realise that such is only
partial knowledge
And when they take recourse to perfect knowledge
Of My transcendental Loving Self,
The veil of ignorance brought into being by Maya
is removed.
Then only they resort to refuge in Me,
Conceiving of themselves as My eternal servants.

INDEED, 'tis only when the desires of the distressed
And the distorted notion of a God of Ethics
Presented by enquires after truth,
And when the stain of interested heavenly enjoy-
Of the pleasure-seekers ; and when the slur of
Anent My transcendental Personality
And the untenable theory as to at-oneness-with-
Brahman, of the Jnanins-
When all these are removed, the diverse classes
Lead a life of true devotion.
Devotion is not pure so long as it is sullied
By any motives other than the love of God;
While if the slightest tinge of either Karma or
Jnana does exist
Or desires other than the service of the Godhead,
Devotion is alloyed with either Karma or the Jnana.
But when it is absolutely free from such admixture,
It is known as Kevala, Akinchana or Uttama


THOSE who strictly adhere to their particular
And to their station in life
According to their individual qualification
And their actions, worship Me.
They are classified into four groups:
The distressed, who are most anxious for relief
From their impending troubles, such as poverty and
Secondly, enquirers after truth,
That is knowledge of self
Or of secular religious Scriptures.
Thirdly, the seekers after worldly joy,
Such as wealth, fame, women and celestial
These three being fruit-desiring Karmi citizens
Resort to mixed devotion, in which Karma pre-
Lastly, the Jnanins, who are the sannyasins
Who have renounced all worldly pleasures.
Free are they from selfish Karma,
But their devotion is also mixed,
And hence the Jnana does predominate.

DEVOTION in which there is a spirit of Karma,
Jnana or Yoga, cannot be pure devotion.
When that devotion in which fruit-seeking Karma
plays a foremost part,
Becomes at length free from interested motives,
It can be said to be devotion alloyed with Jnana,
But when Bhakti or devotion is absolutely free
From Karma, Jnana or Yoga,
It is known as Unalloyed Devotion
Expressed as Serventhood and Friendship,
Parenthood and Consortship
In relation to the Lord Supreme, Sree Krishna.

WHEN the distressed, the enquirers after truth,
The seekers of wealth, and the wise-
Become unsullied by any worldly motives and
incline to Me alone,
They turn out to be devotees.
Among them, when the Jnanins, the wise,
Relinquish all things of base contamination
And material knowledge, and acquire a perfect
knowledge as to Me,
They stand above the other three divisions of My
The purer conception of the real nature of an
Which can be cultivated by meditating on the inner
Cannot equally be realised by a Karmin,
However perfect his duties be performed.
In the association of true devotees,
All are entitled to have real knowledge of them-
In the nascent stage of their devotion
The wise who are more steadfast and devoted to My
Are dearer to Me, and I am also very dear to them.*
(* The awakening of divine knowledge in Sukadeva Goswami is
an example of this class. In the incipient stage, the devotees
who render pure service to the Lord do so from divine knowledge
untouched by world-contacts.)

WHEN the above four classes of My devotees
Resort to one devotion only,
Munificent they grow;
No longer do they hanker after any of the objects of
man's persuits.
But the Jnana-bhaktas, having more steadfast
To the conscious self, do realise Me
As the summum bonum of all pure and setient
They are very dear to Me,
For I am greatly influenced by their love for Me.
The jivas attain true knowledge of their pure self
Only after many births of spiritual practices.
With this awakening
Of the qualitative aspect of their real nature,
They understand themselves to be distinct
From earthly entities, and prone to indentify them-
At this stage with the Neuter-God, Brahman,
Due to the qualitative affinities
Between themselves and Brahman,
The quantitative difference being immaterial.
Indifference to these diversities may run to the
Thereby causing them to disregard
The transcendental Manifestations of the Spiritual
Form and Attributes
And Occupations and Entourage of the Lord
Supreme-the He-God.

BUT, when they are established for a while
Upon the plane of transcendental knowledge,
They realise divine diversities,
Distinct from gross or subtle mundane variegated
In My transcendental Self,
And thus become attached to Me and shelter in Me.
Then they think: these phenomena
Are not dissociated from the Lord
But do result from the reflection of the Potency-
Called Chit-of Vasudeva;
The Universe has multifarious contact with
Vasudeva, the Pervading.
The devotees who have such a mentality
Are very rare and wondrous souls.
A Jnani-bhakta sees Me, Vasudeva,
In all things, and everything in Me.
Only after many births does he take refuge absolute
in Me.
Such a devotee is rare;
But an Aikantika-single-minded devotee is the
rarest of all.

THE interested devotees unblemished,
Since they worship Me
Are also blessed to take the way of pure devotion.
As long as their devotion be corrupted by desires,
They hesitate to worship Me.
Yet those who, though they seek rewards,
Resort to Me with heart and soul,
Within a short time I relieve them
From all their earthly moods and lusts.
Wretched are they who worship Me reluctantly,
For they deprive themselves of all true knowledge
of the Absolute.
Steeped in worldly ignorance,
Their wisdom encrusted by the dross of earthly joys,
They worship the different presiding gods
According to various desires.
They do not love me,
And have no confidence in My Divine Form.
They are led astray by their respective
Rajasika and Tamasika natures
To submit to other pleasure-giving gods
And thus are thrown into the vortex
Of unsatiated, endless yearnings.
They think that they can easily and quickly please
Those minor gods by practising the ordinary rituals.
Cripples are their propensities
And thus enslaved,
They are reluctant to abide with Me.

AS the Indweller of the hearts
Of all the Gods and individual souls,
I give them faith unshaken in the minor gods
That they may choose to worship
According to their temporary predilection.
These gods are not the Lord Indweller;

They are but superior souls with delegated special
powers from Me.
The fallen souls repose great faith in them
For their own selfish ends.
The oftener their lusts are satisfied,
The more their confidence in them increases.
No individual can claim to be attached to Me,
Who am the Lord Supreme of all the gods and
Until their hearts are absolutely free from all

AS the god is, so the worshipper
And the results of all such worship are but
The worship of these transitory gods
Is mainly due to indulgence
In mental speculation by the worshippers,
Who, after receiving their desired ends
Ultimately realise their transitory nature.
My devotees remember Me as the Eternal End.

APART from the worshippers of minor gods,
Those who are well versed in the Vedas
Are often ignorant of My true nature.
For, says Brahma in the Bhagavatam:
'He who is blessed with the best of favours fom
Thy Lotus-feet, O Lord !
Alone knows of Thy glorious Deeds and none else,
Though he may try to elucidate the truth about Thee
By means of his empiric lore.'
Hence those who hold that I am Brahman,
The Attributeless and Impersonal,
And that I manifest in a specific Form,
For a special purpose,
That I become Impersonal again when I withdraw
From all this manifested world,
Are foolish to imagine this,
However erudite they may be in the Vedanta.
They are benighted as to My super-excellent
Eternal, transcendental Form and Person.
They who are called impersonalists
Think that the eternal and extra-human Form of
the Supreme
Is the impersonal and attributeless Brahman
Which manifests Itself upon the worldly plane of
They think this to be some illusion,
And when this is dispelled,
The Neutre-God or Brahman, then remains !
They do not realise that they themselves are the
And cannot thus conceive the Ever-lasting He-God,
Whose transcendental Form Eternal
Is unlike any form of matter, and Who can,
Out of His Divine prerogative,
Appear upon this earth ; and can withdraw Himself
whenever He elects.

THE illusioned know not My Shyama-sundara
Eternal Beauteous Form.
Do not believe that I was formerly non-manifest
And now have manifested in this Form Shyama-
For, this My Form,
Whose Beauty is beyond conception,
Existed ever like the self-effulgent sun,
Within the Realm of Spirit
And I am ever hidden from material eyes
By screens of My Internal Potency, known as the
For that this is, the unwise cannot know
That My Shyama-sundara eternal Form
Is e'er devoid of earthly form, birth, attributes and
Just as the sun is never visible to human sight
Through being intercepted by the heights of Sumeru,
So am I too, unseen by people of the world
Who have been screened by Yoga-Maya.
He who submits entirely to Me in Yoga-Maya
May know My real Nature by Her grace.
The ignorant does not submit, through his fallacious

MY Yoga-Maya or Internal Potency
And My External Potency-Maha-Maya-
Belong to Me and I am Lord of Both and of all
Thus neither overpowers Me.
I am the Lord Supreme, All-existent,
All-knowing, and All-blissful.
I know the past, the present and the future.
But even those, Arjuna, who know Brahman and
As My Negative and Partial aspects,
Do not know My Eternal Exquisite Shyama-sundara
In Aryan theology are three notions of the Absolute:
The Negative Brahman, The Great One of the
The All-pervading Paramatma of the Yoga-school;
And Bhagavan, the Beauteous, of the true Theistic

WHEN jivas realise their innate nature
Through unalloyed devotion,
I then reveal My Form All-beautlful
Unto their spiritual sight.
But when Bharata ! they are hurled into this round
of births and deaths
Owing to their disregard of their eternal functions,
They are infatuated by the mundane relativities
Of love and hatred, pleasure and pain,
Happiness and sorrow, cold and heat,
Honour and disgrace, male and female.
All this is caused by My Deluding Potency, the
Thus their pure knowledge is enshrouded by their
Yet through the agency of My Chit-Potency, the
I have made this My Divine Descent in My
Primordial Form
Into the plane of all this cosmic region
Giving the fallen an opportunity to see Me
Manifest before their eyes.
But they, infatuated by illusion,
Are steeped in ignorance and thus do foolishly
My Eternal Beauteous Form to be material and
Those who are either much attached to cold
asceticism and renunciation,
Under the wrong impression
That the things of this world
Are not associated with the Lord,
Deprive themselves of treading on the path of pure

LISTEN how thou may'st attain a knowledge
Of My transcendental Personality.
The sinful and demoniac in character have no
insight into My nature.
Those whose sins are finally atoned for a pious life
Lived in obedience to the Scripural injunctions,
Follow the selfless Karma-Yoga,
Jnana-Yoga of pure intelligence,
Dhyana-Yoga of meditation,
And then become they conscious of their real self.
Only when this stage has been reached,
Do they engage in My eternal service
And thus they are enabled through the grace of
To understand My transcendental beauteous Form
of Shyama-sundara.
Thou must discern between the worldy gross or
subtle sense-perception
And that which is transcendental.
Those who are blessed with this discernment
Become released from change and relativities and
their antitheses,
And then devote themselves to Me with firm

THE fleshy form is subject to decrepitude and
But not the everlasting spirit-body of the soul.
'Tis never for the soul to suffer births and deaths.
Moksha or liberation is the attainment of Eternal
Which is naught but My eternal loving service
With the soul's undying spirit-body.
But those who, sense-controlled and following the
path of mixed devotion
Where Yoga does predominate,
Seek only to liberate themselves from pangs of
Birth and death
And care not for My service,
Which is the end and aim of Moksha,
Acquire a knowledge of Brahman,
The ontology of Adhyatma and Karma in all its

THEY who can realise My Self
In their own unalloyed existence
As Lord of Adhibhuta, Adhidaiva and of Adhiyajna,
Are privileged to know Me
On the eve of their departure from this world.
The devotees alone are fully cognisant
Of My eternal beauteous Form and by My grace
Can cross the Ocean of the World with perfect ease,
For Maya has no hold upon them.

No comments:

Pranam to Swami Bon

"I make my obeisances with deep and loving devotion for ever and ever to my Gurudev, who is known by the name of Srimad Bhakti Hriday Bon, who being attracted by the lotus-feet of Radha-Madhab is for ever and ever immersed in the perennial stream of supramundane joy emanating therefrom.

I bow down again and again with loving devotion to my Gurudev who is a wandering Tridandi mendicant and erudite Vaishnava (who) is always following in the wake of Sri Rupa; I make my obeisances in all humility, at all times with sincere loving devotion to my Gurudev who resides happily in the
Kunja (bower) allotted to him by Shrimati Radhika, the dearest Divine Consort of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna who is Rasa epitomized, who has taken to the way of Bhakti in consonace with the teachings of Sri Chaitanya - nay, whose whole pattern of life is moulded on the teachings and precepts of Sri Chaitanya."