SB 1.7 - Explanation of the ātmārāma verse -III

The word ittham-bhūta means complete bliss. Before this ocean of bliss, the bliss derived from merging into Brahman becomes like a piece of straw or like the scanty water contained in the hoof print of a calf. The personal form of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is so attractive that it comprehends all attraction, all bliss and all tastes (rasas). Pure bhakti is so sublime that one can very easily forget the happiness of bhukti, siddhi and mukti. When one is attracted to Kṛṣṇa on the transcendental platform there is no longer any logical argument on the basis of revealed scriptures, nor are there considerations of such conclusions. This is His transcendental quality that is the essence of all sweetness.

The word guṇa means quality. The qualities of Kṛṣṇa are transcendental and are unlimited in quantity. The devotees are attracted by His uncommon beauty, mellows and fragrance. The minds of the four sages were attracted by the aroma of tulasī leaves offered to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. Śukadeva Gosvāmī was attracted by hearing the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, even though he was already situated in transcendental position. The gopīs are attracted by the beautiful bodily features of Kṛṣṇa. The Queens of Dvārakā headed by Rukmiṇī are attracted by hearing about His beauty and qualities. The goddess of fortune is attracted by hearing His flute. Kṛṣṇa attracts the minds of all the young girls in the three worlds as well. He attracts the minds of the elderly ladies by paternal affection, and the minds of the men of Vṛndāvana by the humors of servitude and friendship.

Although the word ‘hari’ has many different meanings, the chief import of the word is that the Lord vanquishes everything inauspicious, and takes away the mind of the devotee (or attracts the mind of the devotee) by ecstatic love. By remembering the Lord in acute distress one can be free from all miseries and anxieties. Lord Hari takes away the four miserable conditions of life due to the four kinds of sins: pātaka (preliminary sin), uru-pātaka (great sin), mahā-pātaka (greater sin) and ati-pātaka (topmost sin). When a devotee surrenders unto Kṛṣṇa, He protects him from all sinful reactions (BG 18.66). The Lord vanquishes all obstacles on the path of devotional service of a devotee, and the devotee then manifests his love for God thru devotional service in nine different ways – hearing, chanting etc.

By His personal features and transcendental attributes, the Lord attracts all activities of a pure devotee. The attraction is so powerful that a devotee never hankers for any one of the four principles of religion. And adding to this the words ‘api’ and ‘ca’, one can increase the imports unlimitedly. There are seven synonyms for these two words. So by interpreting each and every word of this verse, one can see unlimited numbers of transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa that attract the mind of a pure devotee.