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Shri Vallabhacharya now moves us directly into the Pushti arena with his Pearl Necklace Teachings. This amazing doctrine was originally composed for his disciple Achuytadas, who became the recipient of the highest reward: continual Krishna awareness. The master reveals the nature of Shri Krishna’s seva and the divine act of serving the Beloved. He also gives important empowerments concerning the nature of the world. These teachings are especially useful for bhaktas who want to take an active part in God’s creation, but need to understand the subtle relationship between Manifest Divinity, Unmanifested Brahman and the world for their parts to fully unfold. Shri Vallabhacharya enlightens…

natva harim pravaksyami svasiddhanta viniscayam
krsna seva sada karya manasi sa para mata

Having bowed by head to Hari, I will now tell you my own teachings with great certainty. Always perform Shri Krishna’s pleasing service or seva. The highest form of seva is when it spontaneously fills the mind and heart.

cetastatpravanam seva tatsidhyai tanuvittaja
tatah samsaraduhkhasya nivrttirbrahmabodhanam

This state of being arises when one’s consciousness is threaded into Krishna. In order to attain this state, bhaktas employ their bodies together with their wealth in Shri Krishna’s beloved service. Then the pains of the world are removed and knowledge of Brahman arises.

param brahma tu krsno hi saccidanandakam brhat
dvirupam taddhi sarvam syadekam tasmadvilaksanam

Without a doubt, Shri Krishna is Supreme Brahman. The Omnipresent Brahman is comprised of truth, consciousness and qualified Bliss and has two forms. Brahman is everything in creation as well as that which is distinct from everything -the imperishable formless source.

aparam tatra purvasminvadino bahudha jaguh

mayikam sagunam karyam svatantram ceti naikadha

Many contrary opinions about the nature of this Great Brahman have been contrived. Some say that this world is an illusion while others claim that it is a combination of various attributes. Some even argue that it is simply an effect and others say that the world is independant. They do not share a common view.

tadevaitatprakarena bhavatitisrytermatam
dvirupam capi gangavajjneyam sa jalarupini
mahatmyasamyuta nrnam sevatam bhuktimuktida
maryadamargavidhina tatha brahmapi budhyatam

If we look at this world with regard to what the Vedic texts say, we see that it is purely Brahman and that it has a dual nature that can be understood by the example of the Ganges river. One form of the Ganges river is her water. It is seen by all. The second form is that of the holy Ganges, the pilgrimage site that is filled with spiritual greatness. This form of the Ganges is honored by practitioners who worship her according to the guidelines of the scriptures. The Ganges grants them enjoyment or even liberation.

tatraiva devatamurtirbhaktya ya drsyate kvacit
gangayam ca visesena pravahabhedabuddhaye
pratyaksa sa na sarvesam prakamyam syattaya jale
vihitacca phalattaddhi pratityapi visisyate

The third form of the Ganges river is her Goddess or Devi aspect. The Ganges is occasionally seen by her beloved followers as the Ganges Goddess who is non-seperate from her waters, yet still distinct. The Devi is not seen by all, but by her bhaktas and their desires are fulfilled through her waters. This experience of coming face to face with the Goddess is superior to all rewards that are mentioned in the sacred texts.

yatha jalam tatha sarvam yatha sakta tatha brahat
yatha devi tatha krsnastatrapyetadihocyate

Understand the Ganges’ water as being the visible creation. Her sacred powers that are contained within her holy site are the Great Brahman while the Goddess Ganges should be understood, in this analogy, as being the Supremely Blissful Krishna.

jagattu trividham proktam brahmavisnusivastatah
devata rupavatprokta brahmanittham harirmatah

As for the nature of the creation, it has also been spoken of as three-fold with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva as its controlling Dieties. Brahman’s presiding Deity is distinct from Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and is known as Hari or Shri Krishna Himself.

kamacarastu loke’sminbrahmadibhyo na canyatha
parmanandarupe tu krsne svatmani niscayah

For attainment of worldly desires only Brahma the creator or other bonafied devas should be resorted to. Without a doubt, one’s own Inner Self is Krishna and He is filled with Perfect Joy.

atastu brahmavadenakrsne buddhirvidhiyatam
atmani brhamarupe hi chidra vyomniva cetanah
upadhinase vijnane brahmatmatvavabodhane
gangatirasthito yadvaddevatam tatra pasyati

While following the teachings that everything is Brahman and nothing but Brahman, blessed ones focus their minds upon Shri Krishna. Although the Self is a pure form of Brahman, due to ignorance it appears distorted like when the sky is seen through a seive, it is full of false holes. When this limiting ignorance is eliminated through knowledge, then one awakens to the understanding that the soul is truly Brahman. Like someone that stays by the banks of the Ganga sees the Goddess in the water.

tatha krsnam parambrhma svasmin jnani prapasyati
samsari yastu bhajate sa durastho yatha tatha
apeksita jaladinamabhavattatra dukhabhak
tasmacchrrikrsna margastho vimuktahsarvalokatah

Similarly the wise one stands on the banks of the world and sees Shri Krishna, Supreme Brahman, within the Self and the world.The one who worships Ganga but remains far from her banks grieves over the distance from the cherished waters. In a similar way, the worldly person who worships, yet does not see God in the world that he lives in, suffers. The one who treads the blessed Path of Shri Krishna’s worship is forever free from the world of bondage.

atmanandasamudrastham krsnameva vicintayet
lokarthi cedbhajetkrsnam klisto bhavati sarvatha

He blissfully contemplates Krishna who lives in the ocean of His own joy. Those who worship Krishna for worldly reasons always encounter difficulties.

klistopi cedbhajetkrsnam lok nasyati sarvatha
jnanbhave pushtimargi tisthetpujotsavadisu

Those who worship Shri Krishna amidst difficulties have every worldly obstruction obliterated. If a practitioner is devoid of knowledge, then he should remain in a place where pujas and celebrations are performed.

maryadsthastu gamgayam sribhagvatatatparah
anugrahah pustimarge niyamaka iti sthitih

The follower of scripture and knowledge should enhance his practice by staying by the Ganges river and reviewing the teachings of the devotional text, the Shrimad Bhagavatam. In every situation, know that grace rules the Blessed Path.

ubhayostu kramenaiva purvoktaiva phalisyati
jnanadhika bhaktimargah evam tasmat nirupitah

Both of these types of practitioners can attain the supreme reward. It is clearly explained, however, that the Path of Loving Devotion is superior to the path of knowledge.

bhaktyabhave tu tirastho yatha dustaih svakarmabhih
anyatha bhavmapannah tasmatsthanacca nasyati

Just like a devotionally ignorant person who performs evil deeds by the Ganges destroys himself as well as the sanctity of the place, a person who lives in this sacred world without devotion does not attain any spiritual goals and descends into darkness.

evam sastrasarvasvam maya guptam nirupitam
etadbuddhva vimucyeta purusah sarvasansayat

In this way I have revealed my all-encompassing secret doctrine. By understanding it one becomes free from every doubt.
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