Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Mukunda-mālā-stotra 42
cittaḿ naiva nivartate kṣaṇam api śrī-kṛṣṇa-pādāmbujān
nindantu priya-bāndhavā guru-janā gṛhṇantu muñcantu vā
durvādaḿ parighoṣayantu manujā vaḿśe kalańko 'stu vā
tādṛk-prema-dharānurāga-madhunā mattāya mānaḿ tu me
cittam — the mind; na eva — never; nivartate — turns away; kṣaṇam api — even for a moment; śrī-kṛṣṇa-pāda-ambujāt — from the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; nindantu — let them criticize; priya — dear ones; bāndhavāḥ — and other relatives; guru-janāḥ — superior; gṛhṇantu — let them accept; muñcantu — reject; vā — or; durvādam — calumniation; parighoṣayantu — let them proclaim; manujāḥ — people; vaḿśe — on the family; kalańkaḥ — a dirty spot; astu — let there be; vā — or; tādṛk — such as this; prema — of love of Godhead; dharā — the abundance; anurāga — of sentiments of attractions; madhunā — with the sweet honey; mattāya — who is maddened; mānam — respect; tu — however; me — for me.
My mind cannot turn from Śrī Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, even for a moment. So let my dear ones and other relatives criticize me, my superiors accept or reject me as they like, the common people spread evil gossip about me, and my family's reputation be sullied. For a madman like me, it is honor enough to feel this flood of love of Godhead, which brings such sweet emotions of attraction for my Lord.
King Kulaśekhara again expresses his lack of concern about suffering ill repute due to his intense devotion to Lord Kṛṣṇa. If devotional service resulted in such criticism hundreds of years ago in India, then how much more calumny must devotees undergo in modern countries that have no heritage of worshiping at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa! Therefore King Kulaśekhara gives us a realistic warning — and assurance not to be afraid of criticism.
When Lord Kṛṣṇa enjoyed His pastimes in Vṛndāvana five thousand years ago, the gopīs, His dearmost devotees, also risked their reputations to serve Him. In the middle of the full-moon night of the autumn season, He called the gopīs by playing His transcendental flute, and they all rushed out to meet Him. Disregarding the commands of their husbands, brothers, and other relatives, ignoring such duties as suckling their children and cooking, they broke all the bonds of Vedic propriety and went to meet their lover, Kṛṣṇa. The Lord very much appreciated this daring sacrifice by the gopīs. As stated in Caitanya-caritāmṛta, "The gopīs have forsaken everything, including their own relatives and their punishment and scolding, for the sake of serving Lord Kṛṣṇa. They render loving service to Him for the sake of His enjoyment" (Cc. Ādi 4.169).
A devotee knows that he is pleasing Lord Kṛṣṇa when he pleases the representative of Kṛṣṇa, and also when he feels spiritual satisfaction (yenātmā su-prasīdati). At that time he doesn't care about any volume of worldly criticism. When a surrendered devotee faces slights and ostracism, these simply help crush any lingering desire he may have to enjoy the company of family and friends. In this way Kṛṣṇa severs the worldly ties of His devotee and brings him entirely under His control and within His shelter.
King Kulaśekhara tells us why he can endure criticism without much pain: He is feeling an abundance of love of Godhead, accompanied by varieties of ecstatic emotions, and he considers this to be so wonderful and honorable that he can easily tolerate the petty insults of nondevotees. This kind of indifference is the effect of advancement in chanting the holy names, as explained in the following verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.40), which Lord Caitanya says embodies the essence of the Bhāgavatam's teachings:
jātānurāgo druta-citta uccaiḥ
hasaty atho roditi rauti gāyaty
unmāda-van nṛtyati loka-bāhyaḥ
"By chanting the holy name of the Supreme Lord, one comes to the stage of love of Godhead. Then the devotee is fixed in his vow as an eternal servant of the Lord, and he gradually becomes very much attached to a particular name and form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As his heart melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman, for he is indifferent to public opinion."
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari