trnad api sunicena taror iva sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih (1)
One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.
O Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya, hear from Me the symptoms of how one should chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra to awaken very easily one's dormant love for Krsna. Although he is very exalted, he thinks himself lower than the grass on the ground, and like a tree, he tolerates everything in two ways. When a tree is cut down, it does not protest, and even when drying up, it does not ask anyone for water. The tree delivers its fruits, flowers and whatever it possesses to anyone and everyone. It tolerates scorching heat and torrents of rain, yet it still gives shelter to others. Although a Vaisnava is the most exalted person, he is prideless and gives all respect to everyone, knowing everyone to be the resting place of Krsna.
The six symptoms of surrender according to Vaisnava-tantra are:
anukulyasya sankalpah pratikulyasya varjanam
raksisyatiti visvaso goptrtve varanam tatha
atma-niksepa-karpanye sad-vidha saranagatih (2)
The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Krsna will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one's guardian or master, full self-surrender, and humility.
The Mukunda-mala-stotra (37) says one must first give up his identification with the material body:
idam sariram sata-sandhi-jarjaram
pataty avasyam parinam-apesalam
kim ausadham prcchasi mudha durmate
niramayam krsna-rasayanam piba (3)
One should give up the false identification with the material body which is made of five material elements and has hundreds of joints which will wear out. One day this body will fall dead with the result that it will be turned to ashes or an insect's stool. At that time everyone will see the body as despicable, therefore it is unwise to have attachment for this body. O mind, hear my truthful words! The powerful medicine to cure this material disease is to continually drink the nectar of Krsna's name.
One should become tolerant like a tree and compassionate to all living entities. As stated by Lord Brahma in the Srimad Bhagavatam (3.9.12):
aradhitah sura-ganair hrdi baddha-kamaih
nana-janesv avahitah suhrd antar-atma (4)
My Lord, You are not very much satisfied by the worship of the demigods, who arrange for Your worship very pompously, with various paraphernalia, but who are full of material hankerings. You are situated in everyone's heart as the Supersoul just to show Your causeless mercy, and You are the eternal well-wisher, but You are unavailable for the nondevotee.
The act of giving respect to the devotees is glorified in these words from the Mukunda-mala-stotra (35):
srnvan sato bhagavato guna-kirtanani
dehe na yasya pulakodgama-roma-rajih
notpadyate nayanayor vimalambu-mala
dhik tasya jivitam aho purusadhamasya (5)
If one hears glorification of Krsna's name, form and qualities from the mouth of a devotee and even then his hairs do not stand erect nor do tears of ecstasy flow from his eyes, then what is the use to maintain such a life?
Knowledge of Krsna's glories is given in Mukunda-mala-stotra (43):
krsno raksati no jagat-traya-guruh krsno hi visvambharah
krsnad eva samutthitam jagad idam krsne layam-gacchati
krsne tisthati visvam etad akhilam krsnasya dasa vayam
krsnenakhila sad-gatir-vitarita krsnaya tasmai namah (6)
May the spiritual master of the three worlds, Sri Krsna, protect us all. Krsna is also known as Visvambhara, for He maintains this world after He Himself manifests it and, in time, destroys it. The entire creation is situated in Krsna, and we are therefore all His servants. The wealth of the world is distributed by Him. Let us offer our obeisances with full faith unto Sri Krsna, who awards one the ultimate goal. You have taken birth for the purpose of performing devotional service to Krsna. Indeed, everything in this world other than devotional service to Krsna is false.
Eagerness for Krsna-bhakti is also described in the Mukunda-mala-stotra (33):
adyaiva visatu me manasa-raja-hamsah
kanthavarodhana-vidhau smaranam kutas te (7)
My Lord Krsna, I pray that the swan of my mind may immediately sink down to the stems of the lotus feet of Your Lordship and be locked up in their network; otherwise at the time of my final breath, when my throat is choked up with cough, how will it be possible to think of You? In such a condition, Your holy name will not manifest on my tongue. If I leave my body then without remembering You, how will I attain You?
One should practice humility as described in the following six verses from Stotra-ratna:
na dharma-nistho 'smi na catma-vedi na bhaktimams tvac-caranaravinde
akincano 'nanya-gatih saranya tvat-pada-mulam saranam prapadye (8)
O Hari! I have no faith in religious principles, and I have no knowledge of the soul. Furthermore, I have no devotion to Your lotus feet. I am utterly destitute, a rogue with no idea of the goal of life. In this way I always cheat myself. You however, are the deliverer of the fallen, and I am an insignificant fallen soul. Therefore, You are the only goal of my life. Having achieved Your lotus feet I take shelter of You, for You are my eternal Lord, and I am Your servant.
na ninditam karma tad asti loke sahasraso yan na maya
so 'ham vipakavasare mukunda krandami sampraty agatis tavagre (9)
There is no sin in this world which I have not committed thousands and thousands of times. The results of those sinful activities are now beginning to fructify, and they are churning me in this material ocean. O Mukunda! Seeing no other path, I am crying again and again before You. Punish me as You think fit, because You are the giver of punishment, and You are my Lord.
nimajjato 'nanta-bhavarnavantas ciraya me kulam ivasi
tvayapi labdham bhagavann idanim anuttamam patram idam dayayah (10)
O Ananta! O Hari! I have been drowning in this material ocean since time immemorial. I have been swimming and swimming, but I have not found the end of this great and fathomless material ocean. While drowning, I cried out in distress, “ Help! Someone rescue me!” . At that time You came, and, as I understood Your lotus feet as the shore of this ocean, a seed of hope arose in my heart. O Hari, You are the most compassionate! In me You have certainly found the most appropriate recipient for Your mercy.
bhavantam evanucaran nirantarah prasanta-nihsesa-mano-rathantarah
kadaham aikantika-nitya-kinkarah praharsayisyami sanatha-jivitam (11)
By serving You constantly, one is freed from all material desires and is completely pacified. When shall I engage as Your permanent eternal servant and always feel joyful to have such a fitting master? O Hari, being evil-minded and seeing no other refuge, I have taken shelter of Your lotus feet. I have now come to know that You are my Lord. You are the Lord of the universe and I am Your eternal servant. When will that day come when I will realise myself as Your eternal servant? When will my material desires be completely destroyed so that I will spontaneously serve You to Your satisfaction?
aparadha-sahasra-bhajanam patitam bhima-bhavarnavodare
agatim saranagatam hare krpaya kevalam atmasat-kuru (12)
O Hari! I am an offender, and therefore I am always punishable. I have all bad qualities, and I am guilty of committing thousands and thousands of offenses. I am drowning inside this terrible, turbulent ocean of material existence. I have lost my way, and I desire to find the right path. O Hari, I have taken shelter of Your lotus feet out of fear. Please accept me as Your own. O Lord, Your vow is that You will definitely liberate anyone from material bondage who takes shelter of You.
na mrsa paramartham eva me srnu vijnapanam ekam agratah
yadi me na dayisyase tada dayaniyas tava natha durlabhah (13)
O Hari! Let me submit one humble request before You. Be merciful and kindly hear my words. This is not a meaningless request, but it is confidential, having come from my heart. I am wretched, and You are most merciful. Therefore, You are the most capable person to bestow mercy. As You confer Your mercy unto one who is very fallen, I am a suitable candidate for Your mercy. If You ignore me, then it will be very, very difficult to find a more suitable candidate for Your mercy.
Humility free from the desire for honor is described in the following verse from Stotra-ratna:
amaryadah ksudras cala matir asuya-prasava-bhuh
krtaghno durmani smara-para-vaso vancana-parah
nrsamsah papisthah katham aham ito duhkha-jaladher
aparad uttirnas tava paricareyam caranayoh (14)
I am always transgressing the injunctions of the Vedas. I am degraded, fickle-minded, always envious, ungrateful, proud and sinful. I am controlled by lust and always engaged in cheating. In this condition how will I cross this ocean of material suffering and engage in the service of Your lotus feet?
Respect for devotees is described in Stotra-ratna:
tava dasya-sukhaika-sanginam bhavanesv astv api kita-janma me
itaravasathesu ma sma bhud api me janma catur-mukhatmana (15)
Performing activities according to the Vedic injunctions, the living entities take birth again and again within this material world. Similarly, I may also take birth again according to my past activities, or by Your will. O Purusottama, kindly hear this one request! I pray that if I again take birth, let it be in the house of Your servant even as a worm and I will be satisfied at heart. I have no desire to take birth with the opulence of Lord Brahma in the house of one averse to You. With folded hands I am offering You this humble prayer.
Humility out of self-surrender is also described in the Stotra-ratna:
vapur-adisu yo 'pi ko 'pi va gunato 'sani yatha-tatha-vidhah
tad aham tava pada-padmayor aham adyaiva maya samarpitah (16)
In this world there are bodily distinctions such as man and woman, and there are four different varnas and four asramas divided according to the three modes of nature goodness, passion and ignorance. In this way there are countless varieties of bodies. O Lord of my life! Whatever body I must reside in and whatever condition doesn't matter, for I now surrender myself at Your lotus feet. From now on I have nothing left that I consider mine.
Sincere humility is described in the Krsna-karnamrta (30):
nibaddha-murddhanjalir esa yace nirandhra-dainyonnati-mukta-kantham
daya-nidhe deva bhavat kataksam daksinyalesena sakrn nisinca (17)
With folded hands this rascal cries, and without hesitation, sincerely offers his prayers to You. In a sobbing voice I pray, “O merciful Lord, please be kind to me! Just once cast Your merciful glance on me and thus save my life.”
Gradually one can perform kirtana taking shelter of the conjugal rasa. The following statement is found in the Krsna-karnamrta (29):
mayi prasadam madhuraih kataksair vamsi-ninadanucarair-vidhehi
tvayi prasanne kim iha parair nas tvayaprasanne kim iha parair nah (18)
O Lord, kindly bestow upon me mercy in the form of Your side-long glance followed by the sweet sound of Your flute. When You are pleased with me, even if others are displeased, it doesn't matter. But when You are displeased with me, even if others are pleased, then what is the benefit for me?
In this way, by performing kirtana with firm faith, one soon attains the stage of ruci (transcendental taste), and then gradually he attains prema. One should remember the purvahna (forenoon) pastime while chanting. The following description is given in the Govinda-lilamrta:
purvahne dhenu-mitrair vipinam anusrtam gostha-lokanuyatam
krsnam radhapti-lolam tad abhisrti-krte prapta-tat-kunda-tiram
radham calokya krsnam krta-grha-gamanam aryayarkarcanayai
distam krsna-pravrtyai prahita-nija-sakhi-vartma-netram smarami
I remember Sri Krsna, who in the forenoon goes to the forest followed by the cowherd boys and the cows. Nanda Maharaja, Yasoda and other Vrajavasis also follow along. Being anxious to meet Radharani, Krsna leaves the cowherd boys and cows behind and comes to the banks of Radha-kunda. I also remember Srimati Radharani, who returns to Her home from Nanda-grama after She has caught a glimpse of Krsna's signal indicating Their future meeting. Her mother-in-law, Jatila, orders Her to worship the sun-god. Radharani casts Her eyes down the pathway by which Her sakhis will return with information about Krsna's location which She eagerly awaits.
Thus ends the Trtiya-yama Sadhana of the Sri Bhajana-rahasya.