Chapter 11. Behaviour of bound and liberated jivas as well as of devotees.

Bondage and liberation are only for jeevas, not for the Lord who is beyond and in control of Maya. In a dream, there is no awareness that the dream is in progress and as long as the dream lasts, the dreamer experiences grief etc.So also in the waking state, the jiva not being alive to his true nature of sacchidananda and also lacking in knowledge of Sri Hari, undergoes suffering, joy etc. Such experiences being strictly confined to jiva’s embodied state are not a part of his constitutional baggage and hence termed not factual (na vasthavi).

O Uddhava, know that Sri Lakshmi and Sri Durga (vidya and avidya) who have existed without a beginning and who make for release and bondage respectively of the jiva are the potencies under My control and naturally therefore, I am beyond their reach. The jiva who is my separated fragment gets bound by the timeless avidya and emancipated by vidya.I am mukta or liberated not because of any destruction of bondage but because I am never bound. The Lord then gives the attributes of the bound jiva and Himself( nitya mukta,) by comparing them to two bird’s kindred in character and settled as constant companions in the same nest on the tree (viz the body). The bound jiva partakes of the trivial fruits of the tree taking them to be the essence; while the Lord does not partake of the fruit and yet is strong on his own.

If the jiva is eligible for liberation, then only his blindness from avidya (ignorance) will get destroyed in course of time. His efforts at banishing the blindness will bear fruit. If the jiva has no such eligibility for liberation, such efforts fail and he will continue to be blinded by avidya. Though Sri Hari is of His own free will, within the body, He does not get affected by the bodily sorrows because He does not identify with the body. The jiva has no such wisdom and hence undergoes suffering in the body. It is to teach the jivas that bodily sorrows arise from false identification with the body, that Sri Hari resides in the body.

He who is dispassionate and who understands the difference between the jiva and Paramatma, one bound and dependent and the other free and independent, does not get bound like the ignorant person. Although he is ever bound, he who realizes his bondage under Sri Hari and the eternal suzerainty of Sri Hari is liberated. Such a jnani will not experience grief although forever under the bondage of Sri Hari. Even when residing in the body, he will not be subject to sorrow like the ignorant person. When such is the case even for an embodied jnani, it goes without saying that a liberated soul will be ever blissful. If one well versed in the Veda has not developed intense affiliation and devotion to the Supreme Being, his labors in the study of Vedas is useless, like that of a person tending a dry cow. A wise man should not cultivate barren literary works devoid of Sri Hari’s glories in His various sportive incarnations. Having cast aside through proper enquiry, the false knowledge which leads one to view matters contrary to their actual situation and having focused ones mind free from impurities, on the omnipotent Lord, one should give up the worldly ways of motivated actions.

If one is unable to fix ones mind irrevocably on the Lord, one is advised to perform all allotted duties efficiently as an offering to the Lord and also to cultivate the company of Lords devotees, hearing His stories with reverence, chanting, constantly recalling and remembering, arranging dramatic representation etc. Uddhava asks the Lord about the nature of a pious soul. (sadhu) and the kind of devotion that may be directed towards the Lord. The reply is given that the sadhu is compassionate to all embodied being, harms none, forebearing, fortified in truth, faultless of mind, equiposed in joy and sorrow and beneficial to all.

He is free from passion, has mastered his senses, soft by nature, pure, possessionless, desireless, spare in eating, calm, firm, has conquered all six waves, does not seek honour, though bestowing it on others, is capable of imparting knowledge to others, sincere, altruistic and possessed of right knowledge. The eleven different media for worshipping the Lord are listed.One of the eleven mentioned is Vayu or air,the chief lifegiving principle running through the entire universe.”There is no royal road to realize Me other than the discipline of devotion generated by association with the righteous Uddhava; for I am the greatest resort of the righteous” declares the Lord at the conclusion of the eleventh chapter.

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