Pushti Pravahi Maryada Vivaran

 The Differences of Grace, Flow, and Limitations

Translation only


I will now explain Grace, Flow and Limitations according to their general and particular characteristics, their differences of souls, bodies, and actions, and the courses they follow and their final rewards, in such a way that the hearer will have no doubts about them.   1-2a


From the scriptural teaching of the Path of Devotion we know for certain that there is Grace.  The Flow, likewise, is founded on Lord Krushna’s statement.  “There are two creations” (Bhagvad Gita 16:6).  Limitation, too, is established by the existence of the Vedas.    2b-3


For a real devotee is said to be very rare, as in the (Lord’s) words, “The one who is devoted to Me is dear to Me.” (Bh.G. 12:4).   But since (this devotees’) superiority is proclaimed everywhere, it is certain that Grace exists.  Therefore not everyone (is graced).  He or she is unique because of his difference from both the Flow and the Vedas, as in the scriptural statements, “When the blessed Lord graces someone…” (Bhagvat Puran, 4:29:46) and “I cannot be seen in this form by knowing the Vedas…” (Bh.G. 11:53)   4-5


If someone objects that there could still be one path (the Vedic), but with two tracks, devotional and scriptural, and two rewards, I say that is wrong.  The Vedic (path) is separate according to both the Sutras and valid argumentation.  And, just as there is separation (of the three paths), because the scriptures teach the permanence of the souls, bodies, and actions (of each path).  So there is separation, because of the negation of the other two paths and the Path of Grace.  For the Path of Grace has been described as distinct because of the difference of proofs establishing it.   6-8a


I will now explain the differences, regarding souls, bodies, and actions, in the creation (of these paths).  By a mere wish, with his mind Hari created the Path of Flow, and it is well known that He created the Vedic Path by speech.  There is no doubt that He created the Path of Grace with his whole person.    8b-9


Based on that original wish, the reward (of the Path of Flow) is in the world.  Likewise, the reward of the Vedic Path is specified in the Vedas.  But the reward on the Path of Grace (is given) by the (Lord’s) whole person.  The rewards are different because the Lord’s wish (in each case) is different.   10


From the scriptural saying, “These cruel, hateful ones I ever cast into demonic wombs…” (Bh.G. 16:19), we know that the souls on the Path of Flow are different from those on the other two paths, which both have an end-entry into ultimate freedom.   11


Therefore, the souls on the Path of grace are distinct (from the other two), no doubt.  For they were created in order to worship the blessed Lord’s very person, and for nothing else.    12


With respect to their very selves, their manifestation on earth, their bodily endowments, and their (personal) qualities, there is no presumptive differentiation (of rank or endowment among souls of the three paths).  Yet (the Lord) creates differences of self, body, and actions among them in accordance with his purpose.   13-14a


For these (souls) are divided into two categories “pure” and “mixed”, and again into three kinds of “mixed” soul, along the lines of Flow, Limitations and Grace, for the sake of accomplishing the blessed Lord’s purpose.   14b-15a


Those mixed with Grace (become) omniscient, when (mixed) with Flow, the person delights in action, and when (mixed) with Limitations, these know the qualities (of the Lord).  The pure are what they are, through love, and are extremely rare.  Thus far the creation of these souls, now I will explain the rewards that await them.   15b-16


The blessed Lord Himself is the reward of those (on the Path of Grace).  As a reward He comes to them in that particular form, or by particular quality in which He becomes manifest to them on the Earth.   17


Sometimes the blessed Lord actually causes someone to be cursed, because (that soul) had become unduly attached or because of egoism.  (The Lord does this) in order to keep his Paths firmly established in the world.  These (souls) do not turn to hypocrisy, nor do they suffer disease or other calamities.  There are great and generous souls, as a rule, and the Lord is punishing them in order to purify them.   18-19


According to the variety of the blessed Lord’s purposes, they manifest a variety of forms.  Their following of the worldly rules and performance of the Vedic rituals is a pious duplicity, nothing else.  For, Vaishnavisum is their natural way of life, and any other conduct is a deviation.   20-21a


But, there are some souls, related to those just described, as well as others who are on the Path of Flow, who together are called “wanderers.”  They stray over all the paths, hopping from one to the next, from moment to moment.  But, they have no real liking for any of them.  They attain whatever rewards they have deserved on all three paths, in accordance with their actions.   21b-23a


I will now describe, according to their souls, bodies, and actions, those who are on the Path of Flow.  For all these souls have been described as demonic, in the passage, “Neither involvement nor withdrawal…” (Bh.G. 16:7).  And they are said to be of two kinds, the ignorant and the malicious.  The malicious are the ones the blessed Lord has described, and the ignorant are those who follow their lead.   23b-25a


A person on the Path of Grace, though he may be associated with (persons on) the Path of Flow, does not become one of them, even if one is born, in accordance with one’s past actions, in a family of them.   (25bc)



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