How Could Chitraketu Be Guilty Of Offending Lord Shiva ? by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura
In the execution of devotional service anarthas (unwanted desires) may also sprout. Unwanted desires tend to smother the natural growth of the creeper of bhakti. At first glance unwanted desires look like off-shoots from the bhakti-lata (the creeper of devotion), but in reality they are mundane desires for position, adoration, and opulence. They colour and taint the practitioner’s consciousness. Thriving in this way these anarthas arrest the growth of the creeper of devotional service.
The four anarthas can be mitigated in the five following ways:
- eka-deśavarttinī (partially);
- bahu-deśavarttinī (substantially);
- prayiki (almost completely);
- pūrṇā (completely);
- ātyāntikī (absolutely thoroughly).
The many anarthas stemming from aparadhas are partially destroyed in the final stages of bhajana-kriyā (rendering devotional service under the expert guidance of a spiritual master). This is known as eka-deśavarttinī. When bhajana-kriyā gains maturity it turns to nisṭhā (steadiness in devotional activities). In this stage of development, the mitigation of anarthas is substantial (bahu-deśavarttinī); thereafter, on the platform of rati (attraction) the unwanted desires in the heart are almost completely absolved (prayiki). With the first awakening of prema, or divine love, these anarthas are completely removed (purna). Finally, the anarthas are totally uprooted (ātyāntikī) when the devotee receives the mercy and direct shelter of the Lord’s lotus feet.
At this point, one may ask, “How could Chitraketu be guilty of offending Lord Shiva, despite having attained a direct interview with the Supreme Lord?” King Chitraketu’s offence against Lord Shiva is an allegorical offence, not a perceived offence, because even after the king was cursed he did not forfeit his spiritual wealth of prema. This proves that curses do not take effect on such elevated souls. What is of the utmost significance is that subsequently King Chitraketu became an eternal associate of the Supreme Lord.
Another incident from the Bhāgavatam is that of Jaya and Vijaya offending the four Kumaras. The scriptures say the reason for their offensive action was because their love for the Lord (prema) prompted it. In fact, Jaya and Vijaya had prayed to the Lord for such a situation: My dear Lord Narayana! O master of the demigods! We have reasons to believe You desire to fight. But we do not see anyone fit to engage You in combat. Although we are strong, we are not inimical to You. Therefore somehow You must arrange a situation whereby we become Your opponents and You can thus satisfy Your chivalrous mood by fighting with us. We cannot tolerate to see you even slightly deprived of anything since You are eternally the complete whole, fully selfsatisfied. We are Your humble servants. Therefore as You are bhakta-vatsala ( the benefactor of Your devotees ) kindly grant our prayers even if we fall far short of Your expectations of the level of devotional qualities.
If one mentally commits offences by misunderstanding the status of such devotees, then he must overcome such aparadhas by proper scriptural judgement.
— An excerpt from third shower of nectar of Madhurya- Kadambini – Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura Translated by Sarvabhāvana dāsa