In the town of Ambala, India there was a person named Narayandas Kayasth. He became the follower of Shri Vallabh. When Shri Narayandasji was ordered to go home after several days of stay with Shri Vallabh, he told Shri Vallabh that he was not inspired in any ways. Therefore, Shri Vallabh created this work in the form of "Bal Bodh" for him. As the title suggests, it is intended as exhortation to juniors in spiritual life. This volume refers to the "Four Ends" of human life as taught by the Vedas and by the sages. These four purposes of life are:
1. Righteousness (Dharma)
2. Wealth (Artha)
3. A Desire for Ultimate Happiness ( Kama)
4. Exaltation and sublimation of soul (Moksha)
Here Shri Vallabhacharyaji proposed only to consider Moksha Purushartha, as that is the real goal of the aspirants of spiritual life. Those who are interested in seeking Dharma, Artha, and Kama should understand their nature and ways from Smruti works by Brihaspati, Chanakya and Vatsyayana respectively. Before getting clear understanding about the Pushti Marg, Shri Vallabhacharyaji wanted to describe all other Marga in the society so that the devotee could have clear idea about the strengths and weaknesses of each Marga before entering in to the path of grace – Pushti Marga.
Now, let we recite all the Shloka of Bal Bodh with its meaning.
Natva Harim Sadaanandam, Sarva Siddhant Sangraham I
Balprabodh Naarthaya, Vadami Suvi Nishchitam II
Bowing down to the ever-joyful Hari (the Lord and Savior Sri Krishna), I invite here the essence of all doctrines, after having settled them well in may mind for the guidance of children.
Here Shri Mahaprabhuji (Shri Vallabh) addresses all the juniors in the pathway of spiritual life. He addresses all the principles in brief type of form. He also describes the form of God with all happiness and capability of God to take away all the worries of a person.
Dharmarth Kama Mokshakhya-Schatva Rortha Manishinaam I
Jiveshvar Vicharen, Dvidha Te Hee Vicharitah II
Dharma(Righteousness), Artha (Economic well-being), Kama (Happiness) and Moksha (Salvation), these for goals of life have been conceived and set up both by men and God, in two different ways.
There are four purposes of life of every intellectual individual that are righteousness (Dharma), wealth (Artha), a desire for ultimate happiness (Karma), and exaltation of soul (Moksha.) These four purposes of life can be attained by an individual and also by God.
Alloukikastu Vedoktaha, Sadhya Saadham Sayuntaha I
Loukika Rishibhihi Prokta, Stathai Veshwar Shikshayaa II
Of these two sets of goals, that which is divine has been declared with the mention of the goal as well as the means to be followed by the Vedas. The other i. e. the human has been declared buy the Rishis taught by God.
The God has described divine purpose of life in Vedas. It also describes how to attain those purposes by using ceremonial performance of Sacrifice (yagna) and to use purified butter (ghee) in these ceremonies. By God’s grace, Rishimunis have described how to attain those four purposes of life by individuals. It is described in Smruti volume.
Lauki Kanstu Prava Kshayami, Vedaa Daadhya Yatah Sthitaha I
Dharma Shastrani Nitishch, Kama Shastani Cha Kramat II
Tri Varga Sadhaka Niti, Na Tanniranaya Uchyate I
All the divine purposes are based on Vedas. Therefore, here Shri Vallabh describes very well the purpose of life out of those first three Dharma, Artha and Kama are achieved respectively by Dharma Shastra, Artha Shashtra and Kama Shashtra. So Shri Vallabh does not waste time by explaining those purposes.
Mokshe Chatvari Shastrani, Laukike Parataha Svataha II
Dvidha Dve Dven Svata Statra, Sankhya Yogan Prakirti Tau I
Tyagaa Tyaga Vibhagen, Sankhye Tyagaha Prakirtitaha II
Exaltation of soul thought by an individual is described in four shastras. In that description exaltation is of two types 1. Exaltation by Others 2. Exaltation by Yourself. Each exaltation is explained by two Shastras. Self renunciation is achieved by two things, with sacrifice and without sacrifice which very well explained in Sankhya and Yoga Shastras. In Sankhya Shastra, it is explained about self renunciation.
Ahanta Mamta Nashe, Sarvatha Nirhan Krutau,
Svarup Shtho Yada Jivaha, Krutharthaha Sa Nig Dhya Te.
With the knowledge of Sankhya Shastra, soul becomes free of I-ness, self pride and egoism. When this state of soul is achieved, it is called self realization and that soul becomes purified and inner knowledgeable.
Tadartham Prakriya Kachit, Puranepi Nirupita,
Rishibhir Bahudha Prokta, Fal Mek Mabaahyataha.
Rishimunis (Saints) have achieved this self realization as per described in Sankhya Shastra. They have achieved by practical means and applying in their daily life. All Puranaas believe in one God and every thing is governed by one God only. By the knowledge of Sankhya Shastra, we get same fruits.
Atyaye Yoga Margohi, Tyagopi Mama Saivhi,
Yama Dayastu Kartavyaha, Siddhe Yoge Krutharthaa.
There is definite path in Yogamarg to achieve self exaltation without sacrifice. Here you have to give mental sacrifice. By proper disciplinary control of breathing, food, meditation, speech, mental exercise, daily routine, we can achieve extraordinary spiritual state of soul which is capable of uniting with God very easily.
Paraa Shreyana Mokshastu, Dvidha Sopi Nirupayate,
Brahma Braahamana Taan Yaat, Stada Rupena Su Sevyate.
The salvation of soul favored by others (Gods) Brahmaji is already worshipped as Brahmanas by doing study of Vedas. Moreover, Brahmaji is generator of life, so he will not give exaltation to soul because it is reverse process of generation.
Te Sarvartha Na Chadyen, Shastran Kim Chidudeeritam,
Ataha Shivasch Vishnusch, Jagato Hita Karankou,
Vastunaha Sthiti Samhaarau, Karyan Shastra Pravartakau.
Brahmaaji never gives exaltation. He has created Shastra named Vaikhanasa related to exaltation. Therefore, for exaltation, Shiva and Vishnu are capable. Vishnu’s job is to operate and protect the world. Whereas, Shiva’s job is to destroy the world. Both are prominent and proficient in their work.
Brahmeiva Tadrusham Yasmat, Sarvatmak Tayoditau
For these reason only supreme power has created powers like Vishnu and Shiva. And these powers are called Gods and they are proficient in their defined work.
Nirdosh Purnagunataa, Tattchhaashtre Tayaha Krutaa,
Bhog Moksh Phale Daatun, Shaktan Dwavapi Yadyapi.
Bhogah Shiven Moksh Stu, Vishnu Neti Vinischayah,
Loke Pi Yat Prabhurbhunkte, Tann Yachhti Karhichit.
Shiva’s innocence and versatility for universe is described in "Pashupatshashtra" and for Vishnu it is described in "Naradpanchratra." Shiva and Vishnu both are capable to give worldly physical comforts and also exaltation of soul. But as a matter of fact, Shiva always gives worldly physical emetics and Vishnu always gives exaltation of soul. But there are some exceptions. If we think deeply, as in real world owners who are enjoying physical comforts will not allow their servants to enjoy same physical comforts. So applying this simple logic, Shiva always wants exaltation for himself so he will not give exaltation to his devotees, but he will give physical comfort for sure. It is reverse for Vishnu, that he likes physical comforts, so he will give exaltation of soul to his devotees.
Ati Priyay Tadapi, Diyate Kavachi Dev Hi,
Niya Tarth Pradanen, Tadi Yatvam Tada Shrayaha,
Pratyekam Sadhanam Chaitad, Dwitiyarthe Mahan Shramah.
As we understood ahead that every god is capable of giving exaltation and physical comforts but they will normally give what they do not want; but for very favorite devotees, they will give what they want. In other words Shiva will give exaltation of soul to his very favorite devotee and Vishnu will give physical comforts. But to do so Shiva and Vishnu has to go very great exertion.
Jivaha Swabhavto Dusta-Dosha Bhavaaya Sarvada,
Shravanaadi Tatah Premna, Savvam Karyam Hi Siddhyati,
Moksha Stu Sulabho, Vishnnor Bhogasch Shivat Stathaa.
Shri Vallabh draws our attention that human mind is faulty and immersed in worldly affairs by nature. To get freedom from all worldly affairs and achieve true happiness, one should perform nine fold devotion.
Nine fold devotions are:
1. To hear about Shri Krshna
2. To Praise the Shri Krshna
3. To remember Shri Krshna every second
4. To offer service in the lotus feet of Shri Krshna
5. Worship, devotion
6. A respectful bowing
9. Self dedication with love
By doing nine fold devotion, one can easily achieve happiness from Shiva and exaltation from Vishnu.
Samarpane Natmanohi, Tadiyatvam Bhaved Dhruvam,
Atadiya Tayaa Chapi, Kevalschet Samashritaha.
Those who dedicate self, wealth, family including wife and children etc. to Shri Krshna, always achieve best love and devotion from God. But those who have not achieved that devotion through self dedication and always surrender themselves to Shri Krshna also gets sublimation of soul towards God head.
Tadaa Shraya Tadiyatva-Buddh Yei Kinchit Samacharet,
Swadharm Manutishtthin Vai, Bhaar Dwaigunya Manyathaa.
In conclusion, to understand His divineness, we should accept total surrenderness towards Supreme Being, the Krshna. And we should perform our duties toward Him (nine fold devotion) and also we should perform worldly duties too. Failure to perform both duties we are doing double sin, and Krshna has to do extra to exalt those souls. and it takes longer for those souls to be exalted.
Eetyevam Kathitam Sarvam, Naiteej Gnene Brahmaha Punaha.
Thus, so far Shri Vallabh established the principles for life and we should understand it without doubt.