Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 11: The Symptoms of Conditioned and Liberated Living Entities

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.11.34-41



paricaryā stutiḥ prahva-


mat-kathā-śravaṇe śraddhā

mad-anudhyānam uddhava




mama parvānumodanam


goṣṭhībhir mad-gṛhotsavaḥ

yātrā bali-vidhānaḿ ca


vaidikī tāntrikī dīkṣā


mamārcā-sthāpane śraddhā

svataḥ saḿhatya codyamaḥ





gṛha-śuśrūṣaṇaḿ mahyaḿ

dāsa-vad yad amāyayā

amānitvam adambhitvaḿ


api dīpāvalokaḿ me

nopayuñjyān niveditam

yad yad iṣṭatamaḿ loke

yac cāti-priyam ātmanaḥ

tat tan nivedayen mahyaḿ

tad ānantyāya kalpate


mat-lińga — My appearance in this world as the Deity, etc.; mat-bhakta jana — My devotees; darśana — seeing; sparśana — touching; arcanam — and worshiping; paricaryā — rendering personal service; stutiḥ — offering prayers of glorification; prahva — obeisances; guṇa — My qualities; karma — and activities; anukīrtanam — constantly glorifying; mat-kathā — topics about Me; śravaṇein hearing; śraddhā — faith due to love; mat-anudhyānam — always meditating on Me; uddhavaO Uddhava; sarva-lābha — all that one acquires; upaharaṇam — offering; dāsyena — by accepting oneself as My servant; ātma-nivedanam — self-surrender; mat-janma-karma-kathanam — glorifying My birth and activities; mama — My; parvain festivals such as Janmāṣṭamī; anumodanam — taking great pleasure; gīta — by songs; tāṇḍava — dancing; vāditra — musical instruments; goṣṭhībhiḥ — and discussions among devotees; mat-gṛhain My temple; utsavaḥ — festivals; yātrā — celebrations; bali-vidhānam — making offerings; ca — also; sarvain all; vārṣika — annual; parvasuin the celebrations; vaidikī — mentioned in the Vedas; tāntrikī — mentioned in literatures such as the Pañcarātra; dīkṣā — initiation; madīyain relation to Me; vrata — vows; dhāraṇam — observing; mama — My; arcā — of the Deity form; sthāpanein the installation; śraddhā — being faithfully attached; svataḥ — by oneself; saḿhatya — with others; ca — also; udyamaḥ — endeavor; udyāna — of flower gardens; upavana — orchards; ākrīḍa — places of pastimes; pura — devotional cities; mandira — and temples; karmaṇiin the construction; sammārjana — by thoroughly sweeping and dusting; upalepābhyām — then by smearing water and cow dung; seka — by sprinkling scented water; maṇḍala-vartanaiḥ — by construction of maṇḍalas; gṛha — of the temple, which is My home; śuśrūṣaṇam — service; mahyam — for My sake; dāsa-vat — being like a servant; yat — which; amāyayā — without duplicity; amānitvam — being without false prestige; adambhitvam — being prideless; kṛtasya — one's devotional activities; aparikīrtanam — not advertising; api — moreover; dīpa — of lamps; avalokam — the light; me — which belong to Me; na — not; upayuñjyāt — one should engage; niveditam — things already offered to others; yat yat — anything; iṣṭa-tamam — most desired; lokein the material world; yat ca — and anything; ati-priyam — most dear; ātmanaḥ — of oneself; tat tat — that very thing; nivedayet — one should offer; mahyam — unto Me; tat — that offering; ānantyāya — for immortality; kalpate — qualifies one.


My dear Uddhava, one can give up false pride and prestige by engaging in the following devotional activities. One may purify oneself by seeing, touching, worshiping, serving, and offering prayers of glorification and obeisances to My form as the Deity and to My pure devotees. One should also glorify My transcendental qualities and activities, hear with love and faith the narrations of My glories and constantly meditate on Me. One should offer to Me whatever one acquires, and accepting oneself as My eternal servant, one should give oneself completely to Me. One should always discuss My birth and activities and enjoy life by participating in festivals, such as Janmāṣṭamī, which glorify My pastimes. In My temple, one should also participate in festivals and ceremonies by singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and discussing Me with other Vaiṣṇavas. One should observe all the regularly celebrated annual festivals by attending ceremonies, pilgrimages and making offerings. One should also observe religious vows such as Ekādaśī and take initiation by the procedures mentioned in the Vedas, Pañcarātra and other, similar literatures. One should faithfully and lovingly support the installation of My Deity, and individually or in cooperation with others one should work for the construction of Kṛṣṇa conscious temples and cities as well as flower gardens, fruit gardens and special areas to celebrate My pastimes. One should consider oneself to be My humble servant, without duplicity, and thus should help to clean the temple, which is My home. First one should sweep and dust thoroughly, and then one should further cleanse with water and cow dung. Having dried the temple, one should sprinkle scented water and decorate the temple with mandalas. One should thus act just like My servant. A devotee should never advertise his devotional activities; therefore his service will not be the cause of false pride. One should never use lamps that are offered to Me for other purposes simply because there is need of illumination, and similarly, one should never offer to Me anything that has been offered to or used by others. Whatever is most desired by one within this material world, and whatever is most dear to oneself — one should offer that very thing to Me. Such an offering qualifies one for eternal life.


In these eight verses Lord Kṛṣṇa ends His discussion of saintly qualities in general and describes the specific characteristics of the devotees of the Lord. Lord Kṛṣṇa has clearly described both here and in Bhagavad-gītā that the ultimate goal of life is to surrender fully to Him and become His pure devotee. Herein the Lord elaborately describes the process of devotional service. One should offer everything that one acquires to the Lord, thinking, "Lord Kṛṣṇa has sent these things so that I may serve Him nicely." One ultimately should understand that the minute spirit soul is part and parcel of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and thus one should surrender one's very self to the Lord. Just as an ordinary servant is meek and submissive to his master, similarly, a devotee should always be submissive to his spiritual master, who is a representative of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He should realize how his body and mind are purified simply by his seeing the spiritual master or by accepting on his head the water offered to the spiritual master. It is emphasized in these verses that one should attend Vaiṣṇava festivals. As far as possible, large festivals should be held all over the world so that people can gradually learn how to perfect human life. The words mamārcā-sthāpane śraddhā are significant. Here Lord Kṛṣṇa states that one should have faith in His Deity worship, since the Lord is personally present as the Deity. The words udyānopavanākrīḍa-pura-mandira-karmaṇi indicate that there should be a serious endeavor to construct beautiful temples and Vaiṣṇava cities with ample parks, orchards and flower gardens. An outstanding example of such endeavors can be presently seen in India at the Māyāpur Candrodaya Mandira.

The words dīpāvalokaḿ me nopayuñjyān niveditam indicate that one may never use the Deity's paraphernalia for sense gratification. If there is a shortage of electricity or lights, one may not use the Deity's lamps, nor should one ever offer to Lord Kṛṣṇa paraphernalia previously offered to or used by others. In these verses, the importance of Deity worship and Vaiṣṇava festivals is emphasized in many ways. Lord Kṛṣṇa promises that whoever sincerely performs these activities will certainly go back home, back to Godhead (tad ānantyāya kalpate). One should offer his most dear possession to Lord Kṛṣṇa, not that which is superfluous or unwanted. If one is most attached to his family, one should see that his family is engaged in Lord Kṛṣṇa's service. If one is most attached to money, that should be given for propagating Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And if one considers one's intelligence to be most valuable, he should preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness with great logic and reason. If we offer our most valuable possessions to Lord Kṛṣṇa, we will automatically become dear to the Lord and go back to Godhead.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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