Bhagavad Gita: Chapter Two: Contents of Gita Summarized: Verse 40
nehābhikrama-nāśo ’stipratyavāyo na vidyatesv-alpam apy asya dharmasyatrāyate mahato bhayāt
Translation: In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.
In the Second chapter of Bhagavad Gita “Contents of the Gītā Summarized” ́ Arjuna in the battlefield by seeing his friends, family members and his teachers did not want to fight the battle thinking most of his friends and family members will be killed and it will be a great disaster. Arjuna is a Ksatriya, and his duty is to fight the battle but here Arjuna is refusing to fight the battle due to his confusion about his duty and completely surrenders to Krishna so Krishna explains to Arjuna about who we are. We are not this body but a spirit soul and soul have neither birth nor death at any time, and it is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval and no one can destroy the imperishable soul. The soul is not slayed when the body is slayed. We were always existing and will continue to exist. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body, and the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. One must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones. ́ One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. So, Krishna tells Arjuna to do his duty without any fruitive results so that he can free himself from the bondage of works.
How to utilize our Human birth in Krishna Consciousness?
In this verse Krishna is trying to teach us is how to utilize the human birth for attaining perfection and what are the affects of practicing Krishna consciousness. The human form of life is a greatest privilege. We would have been taken birth in animal kingdom or Vegetable kingdom as plants, trees, fishes, worms etc. in our past life. But now we got this human birth so how do we utilize it. The best way is to practice Krishna consciousness. Whatever material gain we have in this present life like our education, our opulence’s, wealth, beauty with the end of this body everything is finished. We cannot carry any of these things at the time of our death. But if we practice Krishna consciousness by doing various devotional services even one percent, not even cent percent, it will never be destroyed, there is no loss or diminution and a little advancement on this path can protect a person from the most dangerous types of fear. Even at the time of your death it will go with you. If you finish in this life say for ten percent, then next life you begin eleven percent. Even after the loss of the body at least one is sure to have a chance in the next life of being born again as a human being, either in the family of a great cultured Brahmanaor in a rich aristocratic family that will give one a further chance for elevation. That is the unique quality of work done in Krishna consciousness. We have to put our every effort. Right now, our consciousness is polluted, and it should be rectified by practicing Krishna consciousness so purification of our heart will take place. Tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Nirmalam means purified. If you can purify your consciousness in touch with Kṛṣṇa or God, that is your success. So, every sane man, every intelligent man should take advantage of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and whatever percentage he can achieve, he should try for it.
What is the result of Krishna conscious activities?
Bhakti or attachment towards Krishna increases and at the same time there will be detachment for material sense gratification. “Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra syāt [SB 11.2.42]”.
For example) There is a glass containing water. If you want to put milk in the same glass then you have to empty the water from the glass. If you think you shall keep half water, half milk in the same glass then that cannot be done, because both of them become either diluted or polluted. If you want to keep milk, then you have to throw out the water, and if you want to keep water then you have to throw out the milk. So, two things cannot go on. Same way when you practice Krishna conscious and slowly improve in spiritual life, then you will be automatically get detached from materialistic way of life.
The nature of soul is, it need spiritual happiness and it cannot be satisfied with material happiness. That is why there is lots of dissatisfaction in this modern world. Every one needs happiness but can’t figure out whether it is material happiness or spiritual happiness they are looking for. And if someone offers the way to achieve spiritual happiness they cannot understand and do not take this path and end their life in misery. But if we practice Krishna consciousness even if it is little that stays as permanent credit, it will never be lost. This can be explained by a story. In the Deity room, a lamp was burning. Oil lamp need to be watched at all times. Sometimes the wick needs to be pushed forward. So, the lamp was almost going to be extinguished. In the meantime, a rat came there. He thought that it is something eatable. So, he touched the wick with his mouth and it became pushed forward. Simply by that action of service to Deity he got salvation. “Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt”. Kṛṣṇa consciousness business is so nice that whatever you do sincerely, it will never be lost. It always remains Permanent.
How to execute Bhakti?
The 9 ways to execute devotional services are mentioned in SB 7.5.23
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
- Hearing (Sravanam)
Maharaja Pariksit (the last seven days of his life, he constantly heard the Srimad Bhagavatam).
- Chanting (Kirtanam)
Sukadeva Goswami (spoke the Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit)
- Remembering (Visnu smaranam)
Prahlada Maharaja (never forgot Krishna despite constant tortures from his father- Hiranyakashipu)
- Serving the Lord’s lotus feet (Pada sevanam)
Laxmi, the Goddess of Fortune, is always engaged in serving the lotus feet of the Lord.
- Deity-Worship (Arcanam)
Maharaja Prthu used all of his royal possessions in order to offer them in pure devotion to the Lord.
- Praying (Vandanam)
Akura offered prayers to Krishna when he was traveling to Vrndavana in order to see Krishna.
- Executing orders (Dasyam)
Hanuman, the intimate servant of Ramachandra executed all of Sri Ramachandra’s orders despite all
kinds of difficulties.
- Serving as a friend (Sakhyam)
Arjuna was so close to Krishna, that the Lord offered Himself to become his chariot driver and serve
Arjuna and his brothers in various ways.
- Complete surrender (Atma nivedanam)
Bali Maharaja gave Sri Vamanadeva his entire kingdom, his possessions as well as his own body, although his own spiritual master was against it.
What are the Stages of Bhakti (Caitanya Charitamrta Madhya-Lila)?
Nine Stages of Bhakti Described in Caitanya Charitamrta are
- Sraddha: faith
- Sadhu-sanga: association with devotees
- Bhajana-kriya: performance of devotional service
- Anartha Nivrtti: decreasing of unwanted attachments
- Nistha: steadiness
- Ruci: taste
- Asakti: attachment
- Bhava: love
- Prema: pure love for Krishna
In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the Spiritual Master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. The regulative principles of the Vedas are meant to control the three modes of material nature – goodness, passion, and ignorance (traiguṇya-viṣayā vedāḥ). Thus, one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes finally fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love for God. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Krishna consciousness.
- Whatever little devotional service (Bhakti) we do is never lost. It is a permanent gain. That gain is carried over to next life and we will start from where we left in spiritual path.
- We have to do check and balance of our spiritual progress.
- We have to execute bhakti in 9 different ways. Most important one in this age of Kali is the Chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra
“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”