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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Jiva Goswami > Six Sandarbhas > Bhakti Sandarbha

Shri Bhakti-sandarbha

An Essay on Devotional Service

 

 

 

Some Words of Acknowledgement

Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, the great philosopher from the southern provinces who greatly pleased Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, left many valuable notes that defeat various philosophical misconceptions.  Systematically arranging these notes, and considering their content, Jiva Gosvami writes this book.

 

Anuccheda 1

1        By the previous four sandarbhas the relationship (between Krishna and the living entities) was explained.  There the form of the Supreme Truth was described as having the characteristics of perfection, eternity, and transcendental bliss, and the Supreme was also described as appearing in three features: Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan.  Of these Bhagavan was proved to be the highest.  The incarnations headed by Lord Vishnu and other incarnations headed by the four Kumaras were shown to be His avataras.  Also, Shri Krishna was proved to be the original form of Bhagavan.  Also, in the description of Paramatma, were described the sufferings in the material world of the individual living entities (jivas), who are the Lord's marginal potency, who are spiritual in nature, and who, because of ignorance of the beginningless Supreme Truth and because of the crime of being averse to Him had the knowledge of their original spiritual identity covered by illusion (maya) and were placed in the material world of the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance.

2        The Supreme Personality of Godhead explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.22.34):

          "The speculative argument of philosophers - "This world is real," "No, it is not real" - is based upon incomplete knowledge of the Supreme Soul and is simply aimed at understanding material dualities.  Although such argument is useless, persons who have turned their attention away from Me, their own true Self, are unable to give it up."***

3        For their benefit (the Lord) very mercifully teaches scriptures.  Some individual spirit souls who in previous births performed religious ceremonies and became purified in order to directly see the Lord, and other individual spirit souls who attained the mercy of great souls by their glance or in another way, simply by hearing the description of the perfect qualities of the Supreme Truth, see Him face-to-face.  This is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.1.2):

          "This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva (in his maturity), is sufficient in itself for God realisation.  What is the need of any other scripture?  As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart."*

          This does not happen with any other teaching.  Many other teachings may be heard, but it is the hearing of narrations that begin with the Supreme Truth's pastimes that makes one yearn to taste the nectar of the Lord.  Shri Prahlada and other devotees are examples here.  Hearing about the Lord gives the seed (to see the Lord face-to-face), and it also destroys the seed of lust and a host of vices.

4        Shri Prahlada explains (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.39)

          "My dear Lord of the Vaikuntha planets, where there is no anxiety, my mind is extremely sinful and lusty, being sometimes so-called happy and sometimes so-called distressed.  My mind is full of lamentation and fear, and it always seeks more and more money.  Thus it has become most polluted and is never satisfied in topics concerning You.  I am therefore most fallen and poor.  In such a status of life, how shall I be able to discuss Your activities?"*

          By following the example of these words of Shri Prahlada, who thinks Himself very fallen and lowly, many others have also attained the Lord.

5        This is explained in Brahma-vaivarta Purana

          "As much as it is polluted with sins, to that extent the heart cannot place its faith in the Vedic scriptures or the bona-fide spiritual master.

6        "By hearing the Vedic scriptures in the association of saintly devotees love for the Lord is manifest.  That is the great result of having performed many pious deeds in many previous births."

7        Now that the Supreme Truth has been clearly described according to the direct descriptions (of the Vedic literature), (one may ask:) "What may be said (abhidheya) about (the relationship between the Supreme Truth and the individual spirit souls) and what is the final goal (prayojana) of that (relationship)?  These two may be explained according to the indirect descriptions (of the Vedic literature).  Because it is the opposite of being averse to the Supreme, that relationship is one of turning one's face of the Lord and it is characterised by service to the Lord.  From that service knowledge of the Lord becomes manifested.  The final goal is that service is directly seeing the Lord and that is characterised by the Lord's making Himself visible within and without.  When that happens one becomes free of all sufferings.  Both are explained in an ancient story.  Hearing "There is a treasure (hidden) in your house", a poverty stricken man searched for the treasure and eventually found it.  These two things are like that.  This story is told to dispel weakness (of heart in the devotees).  Explaining that being unwilling to be aware of the perfect and beginningless Supreme Truth is the cause of suffering, (the scriptures) teach service to the Lord, which is the medicine to cure the disease (of material life).

8        (This is explained in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.37):

          "When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is separate from Krishna, he is overpowered by fear.  Because he is separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the material energy, his conception of life is reversed.  In other words, instead of being the eternal service of Krishna, he becomes Krishna's competitor.  This is called viparyayo smrtih.  To nullify this mistake, one who is actually learned and advanced worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his spiritual master, worshipful Deity, and source of life.  He thus worships the Lord by the process of unalloyed devotional service."*

9        Shridhara Svami comments: "The fear here is created by the Lord's material energy.  'Budhah' means 'an intelligent person', and 'abhajet' means 'should worship'.  Fear is created by absorption (abhinivesatah) in material things beginning with the material body.  It is created by the false-ego of identifying with the material body and other material things.  It is created because the original spiritual form of the living entity is not manifest.  Why does the material energy (maya) do this?  Because the living entity has turned away from the Supreme Lord (isad apetasya), the material energy makes him forget (asmrtih) and thus his own original spiritual form is no longer manifested.  From this comes the misidentification (viparyayah) of thinking 'I am this body'.  Thus, from being absorbed in something other than the Supreme Lord (dvitiyabhinivesatah) fear (bhayam) is created.  In this way it is proved that fear is created by the material energy (maya).  The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself explains (Bhagavad-gita 7.14):

10      "This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome.  But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it."*

11      "Therefore with unalloyed (ekaya) devotion one should worship the Lord.  In the word 'Guru-devatatma' the word 'devata' means 'master', and 'atma' means 'dearmost'.  In this way the spiritual master should be seen.  That is the meaning."

          This verse is spoken by Shri Kavi to the king of Videha.

Anuccheda 2

1        Furthermore, Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.6) explains:

          "Thus being fixed, one must render service unto the Supersoul situated in one's own heart by His omnipotency.  Because He is the Almighty Personality of Godhead, eternal and unlimited, He is the ultimate goal of life, and by worshipping Him one can end the cause of the conditioned state of existence."*

2        Shridhara Svami comments: "What, then, should be done?  Lord Hari should be served.  Here with word 'evam' (thus) means 'being renounced'.  In that way one should serve the Lord (tam bhajeta).  The reasons why He should be worshipped follow: 1. He is situated in one's heart by His omnipotency (sva-citte svata eva siddhah).  2. He is the Supersoul (atma),  3. He is very dear (priyah),  4. Devotional service to Him, the dear one, is full of happiness,  5. He is the ultimate reality (arthah),  6. He is not false, as that which is not atma is,  7. He is the Lord, whose transcendental qualities are worshipable (bhagavan), and 8. He is eternal (anantah).  Because He is like this, one should worship Him (tam bhajeta).

          "'Niyatarthah' means 'the ultimate goal of life'.  Because by seeing him one becomes full of bliss, He is called 'nirvrtah' (bliss).  As a result of performing devotional service, His blissful form is revealed.  Furthermore, when (yatra) there is devotional service, then the ignorance that is the cause of the conditioned state of existence (samsara-hetoh) is destroyed (uparamah)."

          From the word "ca" here that attainment should be understood.  Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami speaks this verse.

Anuccheda 3

1        Although the spiritual activities of jnana-yoga, which begin with hearing and meditation make one favourable towards the Supreme because they give one direct perception of His Brahman feature, and although sankhya-yoga, astanga-yoga, and karma-yoga also, each in its own way, make one also favourable towards the Supreme, and although they do instil, to a certain extent, some devotion for the Lord, karma-yoga by having one follow the Lord's orders and make offerings to the Lord, and jnana-yoga by having one, among other things, become detached from everything but the Lord, and although these kinds of yoga are therefore the friends of devotional service, still the previous verses quoted from Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.37 and 2.2.6) which explain "One should worship the Lord by engaging in devotional service", do not consider them very important.  These verses say that one should worship the Lord by directly engaging in devotional service, which has many activities beginning with hearing and chanting of the Lord's glories.  This, along with an explanation of the reasons why, is seen in the beginning of Shri Suta Gosvami teachings, found in Shrimad-Bhagavatam beginning with 1.2.6 and ending with 1.2.22.  There it is said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6):

2        "The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendental Lord.  Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self."*

3        In the beginning of the great Shrimad-Bhagavatam Purana (1.1.11) the question was asked: "What is the essence of all scriptures?  Please explain it."  That question is addressed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6 (which was quoted in the previous text).  There the word "yatah" means "by that occupation", and "adhoksaje bhaktih" means "attraction for the activities (of devotional service), which begin with hearing narrations about the Lord" because a little later the opposite (of that attraction) will be shown in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.8):

          "The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labour if they do not provoke attraction for hearing the message of the Personality of Godhead."*

          In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6. (quoted in the previous text) the words "sa vai" mean "certainly that".  The "that" mentioned here means "the best of all occupational duties, which means that which is done of the satisfaction of the Lord."  This is so because it will be said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.13):

          "It is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one's own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead."*

          Because it is not averse to, or apart from the Personality of Godhead, devotional service is not merely renunciation.  This is explained by Narada Muni in these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.12):

          "Knowledge of self-realisation, even though freed from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of the conception of the infallible (God).  What, then, is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilised for the devotional service of the Lord?"*

          This will be described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.13.  The meaning is that unalloyed devotional service is the best of spiritual paths.  By this verse, therefore, it is said that devotional service is better than the activities of varnasrama-dharma.  next he (Suta Gosvami) describes the nature of devotional service.  He says that because devotional service is naturally and spontaneously blissful, it is unmotivated (ahaituki), which means it is devoid of the search for any result other than the service itself, and it is uninterrupted (apratihata), which means because it does not find either happiness or distress in anything other than devotional service, therefore it cannot be stopped by anything.  When devotional service is characterised by attraction (ruci) to (the Lord), then devotional service in practice (sadhana-bhakti), which begins with hearing (about the Lord), has begun.

Anuccheda 4

1        Shrimad-Bhagavatam (5.18.12) explains:

          "All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge, and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva."*

          Therefore knowledge of the Lord's form and qualities naturally brings renunciation of everything else.  This is described (in Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.7):

2        "By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world."*

3        This verse means that simply by briefly hearing about Krishna (asu) devotional service creates (janayati) the knowledge revealed in the Upanisads (jnanam), which is beyond the sphere of those methods that begin with dry logic (ahaitukam).

Anuccheda 5

1        The result of the absence of devotional service is described in these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.8):

          "The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labour if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead."*

2        If (yadi) one does not please Lord Vasudeva, then there will not be (na utpadayet) attraction (ratim) to the descriptions of the Lord's various transcendental pastimes.  Then the only result will be useless labour (sramh).  This is said because of the great superiority and supreme importance of attraction to hearing about the Lord.  Here also is hinted a description of attraction to devotional service.  The word "eva" here means that the fruits of material labour are temporary.  The word "hi" here is explained in Chandogya Upanisad (81.16), "The residence in a heavenly material planet that is attained by materially pious work is temporary and will end."  The word "kevalam" is defined in Amara-kosa, "Kevalam means conclusion".  The conclusion here is that the eternal benefit cannot be attained by either mere pious renunciation or by speculative knowledge.  Even when these are perfected they bring only a temporary benefit.  This is hinted here by the word "hi" and it is also confirmed by Svetasvatara Upanisad (6.23):

          "Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed."*

          It is again confirmed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.12):

          "Knowledge of self-realisation, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the infallible (God).  What, then is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilised for the devotional service of the Lord."*

          It is again confirmed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.4):

          "My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the only auspicious path.  If one gives it up simply for speculative knowledge or the understanding that these living beings are spirit souls and the material world is false, he undergoes a great deal of trouble.  He only gains troublesome and inauspicious activities.  His endeavours are like beating a husk that is already devoid of rice.  One's labour becomes fruitless."*

          It is again confirmed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.32):

          "O lotus-eyed Lord, although non-devotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure.  They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet."*

3        These two verses show that devotional service does not depend on anything else.  Indeed, speculative knowledge and dry renunciation depend on devotional service.  Therefore it is the presence of devotional service that makes other spiritual practices successful.

Anuccheda 6

1        Some think the result of performing religious rituals or occupational duties is the attainment of economic development , and the result of economic development is sense gratification, and because one attains sense gratification in this way, one is inclined to perform religious rituals and occupational duties, in that way starting again the cycle of activities beginning with religious rituals and occupational duties.  That (the truth) is other than this is explained in the following two verses (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.9-10):

2        "All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation.  They should never be performed for material gain.  Furthermore, according to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification."*

3        "Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification.  One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth.  Nothing else should be the goal of one's works."*

4        Liberation is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 5.19.19-20:

          "If one's position is ascertained by a bona-fide spiritual master and one is properly trained to engage in the service of Lord Vishnu according to the four social divisions (brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, and sudra) and the four spiritual divisions (brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa), one's life becomes perfect.  After many, many births, when the results of one's pious activities mature, one gets an opportunity to associate with pure devotees.  Then one is able to cut the knot of bondage to ignorance, which bound him because of varied fruitive activities.  As a result of associating with devotees, one gradually renders service to Lord Vasudeva, who is transcendental, free from attachment to the material world, beyond the mind and words, and independent of everything else.  That bhakti-yoga, devotional service to Lord Vasudeva, is the real path of liberation."*

          According to this prose passage of the Fifth Canto devotional service is the real path of liberation.  This is also explained in the following words of the Skanda Purana, Reva-khanda:

5        "O Lord Janardana, unwavering devotional service to You is the same as liberation.  O Lord Vishnu, O Lord Hari, Your devotees are already liberated."

6        These passages describe devotional service.  Shrila Shridhara Svami comments (on Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.9-10 in texts 2 and 3):

          "The word 'artha' here means 'for material gain', and 'nopakalpate' means 'is not meant'.  Therefore, the regular performance of occupational duties is not (na hi) meant for material gain (kamo labhaya).  This is described (smrtah) by the sages who know the truth.  The fruits of work are not meant for material pleasures (kamasya indriya-pritir labhah).  Rather, as long as one lives (yavata jiveta) one should desire (kamasya labhah) only a healthy life, or self-preservation (jivasya).  One should not use the performance of occupational duties (karmabhih ya iha) in one's life (jivasya) as a means to attain material goals, such as attaining Svargaloka.  Rather, they should be used for inquiry about the Absolute Truth (tattva-jijnasa)."

          In this way (Shrila Shridhara Svami) explains that knowledge of the Absolute Truth is only a by-product of devotional service.  The main result of devotional service is devotional service itself.

          What is the Absolute Truth?  That is explained in the following verse (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.11):

7        "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this non dual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan."*

8        By using the word "advayam", which here means "not divided into parts", and by thus intending that (these three aspects of the Supreme) are not different from each other, the nature of the Lord as the master of potencies is accepted.  The potency of the knowledge of oneness, which is beyond the nature of the other potencies, is related to the Brahman feature (brahma sabdyate).  The material maya potency and the cit potency of transcendental knowledge are related to the Supersoul (paramatma).  The best of all perfect potencies is related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead (bhagavan).  This has been explained in the previous three sandarbhas.

Anuccheda 7

1        That the three-fold Absolute Truth is directly realised by devotional service is explained in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.12):

2        "The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realises that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedanta-sruti."*

3        This verse means, "With the great spiritual love (bhaktya) born from attraction to hearing about the Lord, they see (pasyanti) in their pure hearts (atmani) the Absolute Truth (tat), which was described in the previous (quote from Shrimad-bhagavatam)."  What is the importance of knowledge (in comparison to this?)  They directly see (the Lord).  That is the meaning.  What is the Lord like?  He is described with the word "atmanam", which means "the shelter of the potencies names svarupa (internal), jiva (individual living entities), and maya (material illusion)."

          "jnana-vairagya-yuktaya' means 'by devotional service, which is served by the knowledge and renunciation it has itself created."  The sages (munayah), according their own individual desires, directly see (pasyanti) the Lord.

          The words "sruta-grhitaya" (by hearing from the Vedanta-sruti), "munayah" (the sages), and "sraddadhanah" (seriously inquisitive) reveal that devotional service is rare and difficult to attain.

          If one hears from a bona fide spiritual master the conclusions of the all Vedic scriptures, which begin with Vedanta sutra, he will understand that one absolutely must render devotional service to the Lord.  This is described in the following words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.2.34):

4        "The great personality Brahma, with great attention and concentration of the mind, studied the Vedas three times, and after scrutinizingly examining them, he ascertained that attraction for Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna is the highest perfection of religion."*

5        If he renounces what is opposed to devotional service, and instead engages in meditation on the Lord and becomes attached to the Lord, then, by worshipping the Lord, a faithful person will attain devotional service.  This is confirmed in the Sruti-sastra, which explains (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 4.5.6.):

          "The Supreme Personality of Godhead should be seen, heard of, meditated on, and worshipped."

          Here the word "nididhyasitavyah" means "worshipped".  That the Lord should be seen means that He will directly appear before one's vision.

Anuccheda 8

1        By performing one's own occupational duties for the pleasure of Lord Hari, one attains this rare and difficult to attain devotional service.  Therefore the ultimate result of performing one's occupational duties is being able to please Lord Hari.  This is described in the following words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.13):

2        "O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfect one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one's own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead."*

3        The word "svanusthitasya" here means that great efforts to attain insignificant material goals, such as the attainment of Svargaloka, should not be done.  That is the meaning.

Anuccheda 9

1        If in this way the performance of occupational duties to please Lord Hari brings as its result devotional service, where one is attracted to the devotional activities that begin with hearing about the Lord, then mere knowledge, renunciation and other similar activities are subordinate to devotional service, and it is devotional service, which begins with hearing about the Lord, that should be performed.  What is the use of performing these other (non-devotional) activities?  All this is described in the following words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.14):

2        "Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees."*

3        Here "ekena" means "without those activities that begin with fruitive work."  Instead one should hear about the Lord's names, qualities, and other features, and one should also glorify them.

Anuccheda 10

1        To describe devotional service, which from its first to its last stage is easy to perform, and which even in its first stage creates attraction for hearing the topics of Lord Hari and is free of the many troubles inherent in fruitive pious work or other activities, Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.15) explains:

2        "With sword in hand, intelligent men cut through the binding knots of reactionary work (karma) by remembering the Personality of Godhead.  Therefore, who will not pay attention to His message?"*

3        Here the word "kovidah" means "intelligent", "yuktah" means "with a controlled mind", "anudhya" means "remembering Lord Hari", and "asi" means "sword".  With that sword one cuts (chindanti) the knots (granthim) of reactionary word (karma), which are the false ego that binds one in various material bodies.  Who (kah) will (kuryat) not (na) pay attention (ratim) to the message (kathayam) of the Lord who thus frees one from great sufferings?

Anuccheda 11

1        "Is it not so that the unfortunate mass of people will not be attracted to hear the Lord's message?"  Fearing that someone would raise this objection, in the next five verses (1.2.16-20) (the speaker of Shrimad-Bhagavatam) says that devotional service, even up in its highest stage of unalloyed devotion, is easy to perform.  The first of these verses (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.16) is given here:

2        "O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done.  By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva."*

3        Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.87.35 explains:

          "Sages free from pride live on this earth by frequenting the sacred pilgrimage sites and those places where the Supreme Lord displayed His pastimes.  Because such devotees keep You lotus feet within their hearts, the water that washes their feet destroys all sins.  Anyone who even once turns his mind toward You, the ever-blissful soul of all existence, no longer dedicates himself to serving family life at home, which simply robs a man of his good qualities."***

          Shrila Shridhara Svami comments on this verse:

          "The most important feature of this verse is the description of association with great devotees."

          Taking into consideration this verse and comment, the verse quoted in Text 2 (1.2.16) should be understood to mean: "By serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice (punya-tirtha-nisevanat), great service (mahat-seva) is done.  By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva (vasudeva-katha-rucih syat)."

          This verse also means that by seeing, touching, conversing with, and in other ways serving the great souls who travel to or permanently reside in the holy places of pilgrimage, one develops faith in the great souls.  One then thinks, "Why do they talk among themselves about the topics of the Supreme Personality of Godhead?  I should also hear about those topics."  In this way the desire to hear about the Lord is born, and by hearing about Him one becomes attracted to Him.   By hearing in this way from the great souls one at once attains the real goal of life.  This is described by Lord Kapiladeva (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.25.25):

          "In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart.  By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed.  Then real devotion and devotional service begin."*

Anuccheda 12

1        Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.2.17) explains:

          "Shri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma (Supersoul) in everyone's heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted."*

2        This verse means that when one hears about Him the Lord enters the heart (antah-sthah).  He enters by walking there on the path of (the devotee's) meditation on Him.  The inauspicious things (abhadrani) in the heart (hrdi) are material desires.

Anuccheda 13

1        Then Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.17) explains:

          "By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact."*

2        The words "nasta-prayesu" mean "almost completely destroyed".  They are not destroyed in this way by mere cultivation of impersonal knowledge.  In this way the limitless power of devotional service is described.  The word "Bhagavata" here means either "the devotees of the Lord" or "the scripture Shrimad-Bhagavatam".  By serving (sevaya) them one attains eternal (naisthiki) devotional service (bhaktih) where one meditates on the Lord.

Anuccheda 14

1        Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.2.53) explains:

          "The lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are sought even by the greatest of demigods, such as Brahma and Siva, who have all accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their life and soul.  A pure devotee of the Lord can never forget those lotus feet in any circumstances.  He will not give up his shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord for a single moment-indeed, not for half a moment-even in exchange for the benediction of ruling and enjoying the opulence of the entire universe.  Such a devotee of the Lord is to be considered the best of the Vaishnavas."***

          This verse explains that when all material desires are destroyed the heart becomes plunged into pure goodness.  At that time the heart is qualified to receive the direct appearance of the Lord.  This is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.19:

2        "As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature's modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire and hankering, disappear from the heart.  Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy."*

3        The word "bhavah" here means that passion and ignorance arethe causes of lust and the other vices.  The word "etaih" refers to them.  That is the meaning here.

Anuccheda 15

1        Then Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.20) explains:

          Thus established in the mode of unalloyed goodness, the man whose mind has been enlivened by contact with devotional service to the Lord gains positive scientific knowledge of the Personality of Godhead in the stage of liberation from all material association."*

2        This verse means, "As was previously described (evam) by engaging in devotional service one becomes enlivened (prasanna-manasah) and liberated from association (mukta-sangasya) with lust and other vices.  In that way is manifested (jayate) positive knowledge (jnanam), where the Lord appears in the heart, or, without the process of meditation, appears outside the heart."

Anuccheda 16

1        Then Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.21) describes the result obtained when the independent and supremely blissful Lord directly appears:

2        "Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces.  The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when one sees the self as master."*

3        Here the phrase "knot in the heart" (hrdaya-granthi) refers to the material misidentification of false ego.  The words "all misgivings are cut to pieces" (sarva-samsayah chidyante) mean that by engaging in the devotional activities that begin with hearing and chanting the Lord is directly seen.  At that time all doubts are destroyed.  By hearing about the Lord all theories that oppose devotional service are cut to pieces and by meditating on the Lord all meditations that oppose devotional service (are cut to pieces).  When the Lord personally appears (the devotee's personal) disqualifications (are also cut to pieces).  The word "ksiyante" means "completely destroyed".  Simply by the Lord's wish not the slightest trace of these things remains.

Anuccheda 17

1        Revealing the devotees' activities, Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.22) concludes this topic in these words:

2        "Certainly therefore since time immemorial, all transcendentalists have been rendering devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, with great delight, because such devotional service is enlivening to the self."*

3        Here the word "atma-prasadanim" means "purification of the heart".  That, however, is not the only feature of devotional service.  This verse explains that devotional service is performed with great delight (paramaya muda).  Materialistic activities bring only suffering.  When they are performed they bring suffering and when one attains the results they offer again there is only suffering.  Devotional service, on the contrary, brings only happiness.  When one is aspiring for advancement in devotional service there is happiness and when one become perfect in devotional service there is only happiness.

          These verses from Shrimad-Bhagavatam were spoken by Shri Suta Gosvami.

Anuccheda 18

1        For these reasons one should abandon fruitive work, impersonal speculation, and dry renunciation and instead engage in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  One should not do any work other than devotional service to the Lord.  This will be described in the next seven verses (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.23-29 quoted in Anucchedas 18-21).

          What may be said of other works?  Because they are not the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, who appears as a guna-avatara, because they are not in relationship with the mode of goodness, which alone can help spiritual progress, and because they expand the influence of the modes of passion and ignorance, Brahma and Siva are not worshipped by they who aspire for what is actually beneficial.  This is explained in the following two verses (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.23-24) which were previously quoted in the Paramatma-sandarbha:

2        "The transcendental Personality of Godhead is indirectly associated with the three modes of material nature, namely passion, goodness and ignorance, and just for the material world's creation, maintenance and destruction He accepts the three qualitative forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.  Of these three, all human beings can derive ultimate benefit from Vishnu, the form of the quality of goodness."*

3        "Firewood is a transformation of earth, but smoke is better than the raw wood.  And fire is till better, for by fire we can derive the benefits of superior knowledge (through Vedic sacrifices).  Similarly, passion (rajas) is better than ignorance (tamas) but goodness (tattva) is best because by goodness one can come to realise the Absolute Truth."*

4        Here "sattva-tanoh" means "the potency of goodness", and "trayimayah" means :the many activities described in the three Vedas".  The "wood" is the mode of ignorance, the "smoke" is the mode of passion, and the "fire" is the mode of goodness.  The "three things" where these are described are the Vedas.  Smoke is better than raw wood, and fire is better than smoke.  Raw wood is not like fire.  In raw wood the activities of the three Vedas are manifested only very slightly.  In the same way passion is better than ignorance and goodness is better than passion.  Ignorance is not like fire.  In ignorance the activities of the three Vedas are manifested only very slightly.  However, in fire the activities of the three Vedas are manifest directly.  Only in goodness, and not in the two other modes of nature, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly manifested.  That is the meaning.  That the great souls abandon other deities and engage in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.25):

5        "Previously all the great sages rendered service unto the Personality of Godhead due to His existence above the three modes of material nature.  They worshipped Him to become free from material conditions and thus derive the ultimate benefit.  Whoever follows such great authorities is also eligible for liberation from the material world."*

6        Here the word "atha" means "for this reason".  "Sattvam visuddham bhagavantam" means "the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the form of the mode of pure goodness."  That is the Supreme Personality of Godhead is beyond material goodness has already been explained in Shri Bhagavat-sandarbha (Anuccheda 100).  The words "ksemaya kalpante ye nu tan iha" mean "They worshipped Him to derive the ultimate benefit in this material world."

Anuccheda 19

1        Here someone may object: "Is it not seen that many others worship other deities headed by Lord Siva?"

          I reply: That is true, but these are persons filled with material desires.  They who desire liberation, what to speak of they whose only goal in life is devotional service to the Lord, do not worship anyone but the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  This is described in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.26):

2        "Those who are serious about liberation are certainly non envious, and they respect all.  Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Vishnu and His plenary portions."*

3        Here the word "bhuta-patin" refers to the pitas, prajapatis and the other demigods like them.  "Anasuyavah" means that the saintly devotees do not offend these other deities.

Annucheda 20

1        Here someone may object: If by worshipping Lord Narayana one attains what is desirable, then why do these people worship other deities?"

          The following verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.27) explains:

2        "Those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance worship the forefathers, other living beings and the demigods who are incharge of cosmic activities, for they are urged by a desire to be materially benefitted with women, wealth, power and progeny."*

3        Here the word "sama-silah" means that these worshippers have the same nature as the pitas and other demigods, who are also under the influence of the modes of passion and ignorance.  Because these worshippers have the same nature they worship these demigods.

Anuccheda 21

1        In this way it is said that Lord Vishnu should be worshipped.  That this is the conclusion of all Vedic scriptures is confirmed in the following two verses (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.28-29).

2        "In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Shri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead.  The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him.  Yoga is for realising Him.  All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only.  He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him.  Religion (dharma) is rendering loving service unto Him.  He is the supreme goal of life."*

3        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "In this way Lord Vasudeva is the ultimate topic described by the Vedas.  Fearing that someone may say, "Do not the Vedas describe various yajnas?  this verse states that because all methods of worship are directed to Him, therefore the Vedic sacrifices are performed to please Him.  Fearing that someone may say, "Do not the yoga-sastras describe only the yogic activities, beginning with sitting postures and breath-control?"  this verse states that these activities are methods employed to attain Lord Vasudeva.  Fearing that someone may say, "Do not the jnana-sastras describe transcendental knowledge?"  this verse states that Lord Vasudeva is the highest transcendental knowledge.  What was said of knowledge may also be said of austerities.  Fearing that someone may say, "Do not the dharma-sastras describe pious activities beginning with charity and vows, activities by which one attains Svargaloka and other heavenly realms?"  this verse states that these results are ultimately dependent on Lord Vasudeva.  The word "gatih" (goal), which comes from the verb "gam" (to go), refers to the attainment of Svargaloka and the other heavenly planets.  That goal is dependent on Lord Vasudeva because it is manifested from a tiny portion of His transcendental bliss.  This verse explains that because Lord Vasudeva is the root from which everything has grown, everything is meant for Him.  fearing that someone may say, "Is it not so that the Vedas are about many different things, such as sacrifices, yoga, pious deeds, and they are not about one thing only?"  this verse explains that these things beginning with Vedic sacrifices are dependent on and meant for Lord Vasudeva."

4        Devotional service is the friend and guide of the things, beginning with yoga, mentioned here.  That is the primary meaning here.  The Vedas certainly describe pious fruitive actions (karma-kanda), but in some parts of the Vedas the superiority of devotional service is also seen.  This is described in Svetasvatara Upanisad (6.23):

5        "Only to those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed."*

Anuccheda 22

1        Now that he has shown that devotional service should be performed, (the author of Shrimad-Bhagavatam) proves that it is the conclusion of all Vedic literatures.  He begins his explanation with these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.30):

2        "In the beginning of the material creation, that Absolute Personality of Godhead (Vasudeva), in His transcendental position, created the energies of cause and effect by His own internal energy."*

3        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "Someone may object, Is it not so that all Vedic scriptures describe the activities that begin with nature's creation, entrance into, and control of the material universes?  How can it be that the scriptures describe Lord Vasudeva?  To answer this objection the author of Shrimad Bhagavatam speaks these four (1.2.30-33) verses."

4        Here the word "idam" refers to the material world beginning with the mahat-tattva and reaching to the demigod Brahma.  The activities that begin with (the Lord's) entrance into the material universe are seen in the verses following that quote (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.30).  This verse was spoken by Shri Suta Gosvami to Shri Saunaka Rsi.

Anuccheda 23

1        This is also described in the following verse in a conversation, the conversation that was to give birth to Shrimad-Bhagavatam, between Shri Narada and Shri Vyasa, (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.12):

2        "Knowledge of self-realisation, even though freed from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the infallible (God).  What then, is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilised for the devotional service of the Lord?"*

3        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments: "The word 'naiskarmyam' means "Brahman-knowledge. which because of its oneness is free from fruitive actions'.  'Niranjanam', which is derived from the verb 'aj', means 'free from material designations'.  This kind of knowledge, if devoid (varjitam) of love (bhava) for the infallible Lord (acyute) does not (alam na) look well (sobhate).  In this way it is not possible to see the Lord.  That is the meaning.  Fruitive activities are always (sasvat), that is both when one is working to attain a goal and when the goal is attained, painful (abhadram).  How can even non-fruitive actions, when not offered to the Lord, look well?  This is so because such actions, due to being external and irrelevant, do not purify the self."

4        In this way transcendental knowledge and fruitive work, if devoid of devotional service, are both useless.  (However, devotional service is not useless.  Shrila Narada Muni explains to Shrila Vyasa, in Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.15-17):

          "The people in general are naturally inclined to enjoy, and you have encouraged them in that way in the name of religion.  This is verily condemned and in quite unreasonable.  Because they are guided under your instructions, they will accept such activities in the name of religion and will hardly care for prohibitions.*

          "The Supreme Lord is unlimited.  Only a very expert personality, retired from the activities of material happiness, deserves to understand this knowledge of spiritual values.  Therefore those who are not so well situated, due to material attachment, should be shown the ways of transcendental realisation, by Your goodness, through descriptions of the transcendental activities of the Supreme Lord."*

5        "One who has forsaken his material occupations to engage in the devotional service of the Lord may sometimes fall down while in an immature stage, yet there is no danger of his being unsuccessful.  On the other hand, a non devotee, though fully engaged in occupation duties, does not gain anything."*

6        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "Considering what may happen when one, ignoring his regular and special material duties, engages only in devotional service to Lord Hari, (Narada) speaks this verse.

          "Here someone may object:  'If, after abandoning his material occupational duties, one becomes perfect in devotional service, and thus attains the goal of life and becomes successful, then for him there is no anxiety.  But if one dies before he attains devotional perfection, or if one falls down from devotional service, then his abandonment of occupation duties is a mistake."

          "Fearing that someone might say this, (Narada Muni) says here that even if a devotee falls down from devotional service or dies (before he can attain perfection), still, because he has tasted the nectar of devotional service, there is no fear that he will be put into distress because he abandoned his material occupational duties.  In this way (Narada) speaks this verse.  The word 'va' (or) here is in the sense of a sceptical glance.  He says, 'How can one who has tasted the nectar of devotional service attain an inauspicious situation in a low birth?'  The meaning here is that such a situation will never happen.  This will not happen because of the desire for devotional service in his heart.  That is the meaning.  But what will they who do not engage in devotional service gain from their performance of material occupational duties?  The word 'abhajatam' here is in the possessive case because it indicates the relationship to another word."

          This verse was spoken by Shri Narada to Shri Vyasa.

Anuccheda 24

1        The statement "Devotional service should be performed" is discussed in the conversation of Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami and Maharaja Pariksit.  (Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami said, in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.2):

2        "Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, have many subject matters for hearing in human society, O emperor."*

3        The phrase "grhesu grha-medhinam" hints that the people described here are materialists far from spiritual life.  The word "atma-tattvam" here means "the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead".  This is so because of what will be explained in the next verse.

Anuccheda 25

1        He explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.1.5):

          "O descendent of King Bharata. one who desires to be free from all miseries must hear about, glorify, and also remember the Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul, the controller, and the saviour from all miseries."*

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments: "By using the word 'sarvatma' here the speaker says that the Lord is most dear to everyone.  By the word 'isvara' he says that the Lord's will cannot be thwarted.  By the word 'harih' he says that the Lord removes the bondage (of repeated material existence).  The phrase 'abhayam icchata' here means 'they who desire liberation'."

          Liberation means attaining the Lord and thus becoming free of all miseries.

Anuccheda 26

1        After this he describes meditation on the universal form of the Lord, and then, speaking against that meditation, he describes devotional service (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.39):

2        "One should concentrate his mind upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who alone distributes Himself in so many manifestations just as ordinary persons create thousands of manifestations in dreams.  One must concentrate the mind on Him, the only all-blissful Absolute Truth.  Otherwise one will be misled and will cause his own degradation."*

3        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "This verse means that one should concentrate his mind on the Lord (tam eva satyam bhajeta) who alone distributes Himself in so many manifestations (sa ekah sarva-dhi-vrtty-anubhuta-sarvah).  One should not be attached to anyone or anything else (na anyatra sajjet) because from that attachment (yatah) one falls (atma-patah) into the material world of repeated birth and death.  The Lord alone experiences everything (anubhuta-sarvah) with His senses.  The example is given here of what is seen (iksita) by sleeping persons (svapna-jananam).  Sometimes in a dream an ordinary living entity creates many different bodies and is able to see them all with his senses.  In the same way the Supreme Lord sees everything with His senses.  Because He is the master of the potencies of transcendental knowledge, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is never bound or limited (in His knowledge)."

4        Because with the activities of His mind the Lord sees everything, He is described with the words "sarva-dhi-vrtty-anubhuta-sarvah".  The Sruti-sastra (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 1.2.5) explains that before the creation of the material mind and senses "The Supreme Personality of Godhead could see."  As a sleeping person can create anything he wishes in his dream, so the Supreme Lord, simply by His wish, can create anything.  that is what is said here.

5        Because the Lord is thus aware of everything, He is called "Satyam" (the Supreme Truth), and because He is the creator of everything He should be worshipped (bhajeta).  That is the meaning.  A yogi perfect in meditation on the Lord's universal form, all his knowledge-acquiring senses fixed on the universal form, sees everything in the universal form.  In this way he worships (bhajeta) Lord Narayana, who is the Supreme Truth (satyam), an ocean of bliss (ananda-nidhim), the universal form, and the Supersoul present in everyone's heart.  One should not (na) become attached (sajjet) to any benefits (anyatra) obtained by meditating on the universal form, for that attachment (yatah) will make one fall (atma-patah) into the cycle of repeated birth and death.

          An example is given here to show the Lord's being aware of everything.  As an ordinary living entity may see everything in a dream so the Supreme Personality of Godhead sees everything.

          This is described in the Vedic scriptures:

          "(Before the creation) the Supreme Personality of Godhead saw (everything)."

                             -Brhad-aranyaka panisad 1.2.5

          "The Supreme Personality of Godhead has all knowledge and power."

                             -Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8

          In this way the Sruti-sastra proves that the Supreme Lord has transcendental potencies, beginning with the potency of knowing everything.

          Shri Vedanta-sutra explains:

          "The scriptures say that the Lord created the material worlds as if in a dream."

                             3.2.1

          "Because it is not manifested by the Lord's spiritual potency, the material world is manifested by His illusory potency (maya).

                             3.2.3

          In these quotes from the Nyaya-sastra it is shown that the Lord's creation of everything in a dream is completely different from the wakefulness, dreaming and dreamless sleep experienced by conditioned souls in the material world.

          By the two words "satyam" and "ananda-nidhim" it should be understood that the person described here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

          This verse was spoken by Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami.

Anuccheda 27

1        In the next chapter (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.14) he says:

          "Unless the gross materialist develops a sense of loving service unto the Supreme Lord, the seer of both the transcendental and material worlds, he should remember or meditate upon the universal form of the Lord at the end of his prescribed duties."*

2        After the word "para" the word "avara" means "the places of the living entities headed by Brahma."  Who is there?  The Supreme Lord (visvesvare) who sees (drastari) everything, but who, because He is perfectly spiritual remains invisible to the conditioned souls.  Devotional service (bhakti-yogah) is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.8):

          "Others conceive of the Personality of Godhead residing within the body in the region of the heart and measuring only eight inches, with four hands carrying a lotus, a wheel of a chariot, a conchshell and a club respectively."*

          In this way the way to make spiritual advancement is described.  The word "kriyavasane" means "at the end of one's prescribed duties".  One should do this until he develops a sense of loving devotional service to the Lord (bhakti-yogah).

Anuccheda 28

1        After describing in Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.15-21 and 2.2.22-32 the method of knowledge and the method of yoga, by both of which one quickly or gradually attains liberation, and after explaining the superiority of the form of devotional service where one offers the fruits of his work to the Lord, (the speaker of Shrimad Bhagavatam) declares, "How much greater is direct devotional service?"  He says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.33):

2        "For those who are wandering in the material universe, there is no more auspicious means of deliverance than what is aimed at in the direct devotional service of Lord Krishna."*

3        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments: "In the material world there are many persons seeking the path of liberation by performing austerities, yoga, and other spiritual activities, but they are not the right path.  That is confirmed in this verse by the word "na hi" (certainly not).  Than devotional service (yato bhakti-yogah) no (na) other (anyah) path is (bhavet) that is auspicious (sivah), that is to say happy and free from obstacles."

4        The activities that please the Lord are described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6):

          "The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service to the transcendent Lord.  Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self."*

Anuccheda 29

1        That devotional service is the conclusion of all the Vedas is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.34):

2        "The great personality Brahma, with great attention and concentration of the mind, studied the Vedas three times, and after scrutinizingly examining them, he ascertained that attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna is the highest perfection of religion."*

3        Here the word "bhagavan" means "the demigod Brahma", and "kutasthah" means "with great attention and concentration of the mind".  That is the meaning.  "trih" means "three times", "karstnyena" means "thoroughly", "brahma" means "the Vedas", and "anviksya" means "examining".  In this way he ascertained (manisaya adhyavasyat) that attraction (ratih) for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna (atmani), an attraction that is also called devotional service, (is the highest perfection of religion).

          The word "atmani" refers to Lord Hari.  This is described in the Tantras:

          "Because He is all-pervading (at) and because He is the supreme mother (ma), the Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari, is called atma."

          The word "bhagavan" here shows that the demigod Brahma, who is the master of the universe, has all-knowledge and a host of virtues.  For this reason his studying the Vedas three times is only a pastime.  He merely imitated the actions of other students of the Vedas.  Seeing that they contained the limitless glories of Vaikuntha and were studied by numberless Brahmas, the demigod Brahma studied the Vedas.  The word "kutasthah" means that while he was studying he manifested only one form.

          The Lord Himself explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.21.42):

4        "What is the direction of all Vedic literatures?  On whom do they set focus?  Who is the purpose of all speculation?  Outside of Me no one knows these things."*

5        Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami also explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.29.49):

          "I offer my obeisances to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Person, who like a bumblebee collected the honey of the essence of Vedic knowledge and, to destroy their fear of repeated birth and death, made His servants drink it."

Anuccheda 30

1        How does attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead develop?  That is explained in the following question and answer (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.19.38):

          "Please let me know what a man should hear, chant, remember and worship, and also what he should not do.  Please explain all this to me."*

          The answer to this question is given in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.36):

2        "O King, it is therefore essential that every human being hear about, glorify and remember the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, always and everywhere."*

3        Here the word "ca" (and) hints at a host of devotional activities, beginning with serving the Lord's feet.  The result obtained by engaging with devotional activities, beginning with hearing about the Lord, is described in these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.2.37):

4        "Those who drink through aural reception, fully filled with the nectarean message of Lord Krishna, the beloved of the devotees, purify the polluted aim of life known as material enjoyment and thus go back to Godhead, to the lotus feet of Him (the Personality of Godhead)."*

5        The word "punanti" (purify) here shows that the previously described path of meditating on the Lord's universal form should be rejected.  Because devotional service itself brings great purification, one should engage only in devotional service.  This verse was spoken by Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami.

Anuccheda 31

1        After, in the previous two chapters (Shrimad Bhagavatam Canto One, Chapters One and Two), explaining that devotional service is better than fruitive work, yoga, and impersonal speculation, in the next chapter (Canto One, Chapter Three) he explains that devotional service to the Lord is better than the worship of the demigods.  First he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.2.3-9):

          "One who desires to be absorbed in the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence should worship the master of the Vedas (Lord Brahma or Brhaspati, the learned priest), one who desires powerful sex should worship the heavenly king, Indra, and one who desires good progeny should worship the great progenitors called the prajapatis.  One who desires good fortune should worship Durga-devi, the superintendent of the material world.  One desiring to be very powerful should worship fire, and one who aspires only after money should worship the Vasus.  One should worship the Rudra incarnations of Lord Siva if he want to be a great hero.  One who wants a large stock of grains should worship Aditi.  One who desires to attain the heavenly planets should worship the sons of Aditi.  One who desires a worldly kingdom should worship Visvadeva, and one who wants to be popular with the general mass of population should worship the Sadhya demigod.  One who desires a long span of life should worship the demigods knows as the Asvini-kumaras, and a person desiring a strongly built body should worship the earth.  One who desires stability in his post should worship the horizon and the earth combined.  One who desires to become beautiful should worship the beautiful residents of the Gandharva planet, and one who desires a good wife should worship the apsaras and the urvasi society girls of the heavenly kingdom.  One who desires domination over others should worship Lord Brahma, the head of the universe.  One who desires tangible fame should worship the Personality of Godhead, and one who desires a good bank balance should worship the demigod Varuna.  If one desires to be a greatly learned man he should worship Lord Siva, and if one desires a good marital relation he should worship the chaste goddess Uma, wife of Lord Siva."*

2        Then he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.2.10):

          "A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead."*

3        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "Here the word 'akamah' means 'pure devotee', 'sarva-kamah' means 'one who has all desires, whether those mentioned before or other desires', and 'purusam param' means 'the perfect and limitless Supreme Person'."

          "Tivrena" means "firmly", "naturally" and "easily".  The devotee's desires are automatically fulfilled.  This is explained in Mahabharata:

4        "The devotees enjoy a great festival of service to Lord Vishnu.  They serve Him and meditate on Him, give charity to Him and offer the food in their homes to Him.  In this way they attain a result even the demigods headed by Indra cannot attain."

5        The Supreme Lord Himself said to Shri Kardama Muni (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.21.24):

          "My dear rsi, O leader of the living entities, for those who serve Me in devotion by worshipping Me, especially persona like you who have given up everything unto Me, there is never any question of frustration."*

6        Therefore whatever desires one may have, one should earnestly (tivrena) worship (yajeta) the Lord.  That worship will eventually lead to pure devotional service.  That is elaborately taught here.

          Who are higher: the pure devotees, or one who yearns for impersonal liberation?  The answer is given in the words "A person full of all material desires (sarva-karma) should still worship the Personality of Godhead."  That is the final conclusion.

Anuccheda 32

1        It is also said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.11):

          "All the different kinds of worshippers of multidemigods can attain the highest perfectional benediction, which is spontaneous attraction unflinchingly fixed upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by the association of the pure devotee of the Lord."*

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "Here he explains how the previously described worshippers of the many demigods can attain devotional service.  The worshippers (yajatam) of Indra and the other demigods, by, in the course of their demigod-worship (iha), associating with (sangatah) devotees of the Lord (bhagavata), attain unflinching (acalah) devotion (bhavah) for the Lord (bhagavati).  In this way they attain (udayah) the supreme goal of life (nihsreyasa).  All other things are insignificant in comparison to what they attain."

3        In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.2-9 many results, beginning with expertise in enjoying the senses, were described.  Later the devotion to the Lord that is attained by association with a devotee is also described.  In this way the worshippers of the demigods attain a result much greater than what is attained by making offerings on a yupa of khadira wood.

Anuccheda 33

1        Later, Shri Saunaka Rsi confirmed the importance of devotional service.  He said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.17):

2        "Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilises the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead."*

3        In this verse "asau" means "the sun", "udyan" means rising, "astam" means "setting", and "harati" means "forcibly destroys, because it makes it useless."  This happens to the life (ayuh) of all except (rte) one who utilises the time )ksano nitah) by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead (uttama-sloka-vartaya).  This is so because (the latter persons, the devotees), attain all success.  That is the meaning.

Anuccheda 34

1        Here someone may object: "Is it not so that this also happens to the life of the (devotees)?  To answer this, he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.18):

2        "Do the trees not live?  Do the bellows of the blacksmith not breathe?  All around us, do the beasts not eat and discharge semen?"*

3        "Na mehanti" means "Do they not enjoy sex?"  Thinking the materialistic human beings to be actually animals, he refers to them with the word "apare" (other animals).

Anuccheda 35

1        Then he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.19):

          "Men who are like gods, hogs, camels and asses praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Shri Krishna, the deliverer from evils."*

2        Here he describes an animal like human being (purusah pausuh) who is praised by his followers, who are like dogs (sva) or other animals.  If among these persons someone is very great or powerful he is still only a big animal.  That is the meaning.

Anuccheda 36

1        In the next five verses he explains that the parts of such a person's body are all useless.  He says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.20):

2        "One who has not listened to the messages about the prowess and marvellous acts of the Personality of Godhead and has not sung or chanted loudly the worthy songs about the Lord is to be considered to possess earholes like the holes of snakes and a tongue like the tongue of a frog."*

3        "Na srnvatah" means "not hearing".  Of such a person the ears are like useless holes.  "Dusta" here means "wicked".

Anuccheda 37

1        Then he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.21):

          "The upper portion of the body, though crowned with a silk turban, is only a heavy burden if not bowed down before the Personality of Godhead who can award mukti (freedom).  And the hands, though decorated with glittering bangles, are like those of a dead man if not engaged in the service of the Personality of Godhead, Hari."*

2        Here "patta-kirita-justam" may mean either "wearing a silk turban" or "wearing a crown."

Anuccheda 38

1        The he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.22):

          "The eyes which do not look at the symbolic representations of the Personality of Godhead Vishnu (His forms, name, quality, etc.) are like those printed on the plumes of the peacock and the legs which do not move to the holy places (where the Lord is remembered) are considered to be like tree trunks."*

2        Their birth is like that of the trees.  They are equal to trees.  That is the meaning.

Anuccheda 39

1        Then he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.23):

          "The person who has not at any time received the dust of the feet of the Lord's pure devotee upon his head is certainly a dead body.  And the person who has never experienced the aroma of the tulasi leaves from the lotus feet of the Lord is also a dead body, although breathing."*

2        Here "shri-visnu-padyah" means "clinging to His feet."

Anuccheda 40

1        Then he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.24):

          "Certainly that heart is steel-framed which, in spite of one's chanting the holy name of the Lord with concentration, does not change when ecstasy takes place, tears fill the eyes and the hairs stand on end."*

2        Here the word "asma-saram" (steel-framed) means "very hard".  The symptoms of ecstasy are described in the phrase beginning with the word "atha" (thus).  The verse says that when (yada) ecstasy (vikarah) is not present then tears (jalam) do not fill the eyes (netre) and other ecstatic symptoms are not present in other parts of the body.  That is the meaning.  The king will confirm this when he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.80.3-4):

          "The capacity for talking can be perfected only by describing the transcendental qualities of the Lord.  The capacity for working with one's hands can be successful only when one engages himself in the service of the Lord with those hands.  Similarly one's mind can be pacified only when he simply things of Krishna in full Krishna consciousness.  He sees everywhere the presence of His worshipable Lord in His paramatma feature.  The function of the ear can be perfected by simply by engagement in hearing the transcendental activities of the Lord.*

          "The function of the head can be fully utilised when the head is engaged in bowing down before the Lord and His representative.  If one is able to do nothing more, he can simply bow down before the Lord and His representative and drink the caranamrta, the water that has washed the lotus feet of the Lord or His devotee."*

          In this way, in the first three chapters of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (Canto One, Chapters One, Two and Three), it is explained that one should engage in devotional service to the Lord.

3        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments in his prefaces to the First, Second and Third Chapters of the Second Canto:

          "In the first chapter meditation on the Lord's universal form by engaging in devotional activities beginning with hearing and chanting about the Lord is described."

4        "In the second chapter the mind's abandoning meditation on the Lord's universal form and accepting instead meditation on Lord Vishnu, who is the witness of everything and the master of all, is described."

5        "In the third chapter the superiority of service to Lord Vishnu, which is performed with great devotion, and which consists of many activities beginning with hearing about the Lord, is described as the sage listens."

          This verse is spoken by Shri Saunaka Rsi to Shri Suta Gosvami.

Anuccheda 41

          Also in the conversation of Brahma and Narada (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.5.9):

          "Lord Brahma said: My dear boy Narada, being merciful to all (including me) you have asked all these questions because I have been inspired to see into the prowess of the Almighty Personality of Godhead."*

Anuccheda 42

1        That devotional service is the conclusion of all Vedic scriptures is also confirmed by these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.5.15-16):

          "The Vedic literatures are made by and are meant for the Supreme Lord, the demigods are also meant for serving the Lord as parts of His body, the different planets are also meant for the sake of the Lord, and different sacrifices are performed just to please Him.*

          "All different types of meditation or mysticism are means for realising Narayana.  All austerities are aimed at achieving Narayana.  Culture of transcendental knowledge is for getting a glimpse of Narayana and ultimately salvation is entering the kingdom of Narayana."*

2        This verse means that because Lord Narayana is the supreme object of worship therefore He is the subject matter described in the Vedas.  Here someone may object: "Is it not so that the Vedas also describe other deities who are also worthy of worship?"  That is true.  Therefore this verse explains that the other deities, the demigods, are meant for serving the parts of Lord Narayana's body (narayanangajah).  The different planets are also meant to attain His feet, and the different sacrifices are performed just to please Him.  These things are done to give a little pleasure to Lord Narayana.  That is the meaning.  Yoga, that is astanga-yoga and sankhya-yoga, are means to attain Him.  Austerity, which means concentration of the mind, is a means to attain Him, and the culture of transcendental knowledge is a means to attain Him.  The culture of transcendental knowledge, yoga, and austerity are means to attain Him.  What more need be said?  He is the supreme goal (gatih) to be attained, the Supreme Brahman.  This is so because all these things are manifested from Him and dependent on Him.

3        Therefore Lord Matsyadeva said to Satyavrata (Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.24.38):

          "You will be thoroughly advised and favoured by Me, and because of your inquiries, everything about My glories, which are known as param brahma, will be manifest within your heart.  Thus you will know everything about Me."*

          The first verse quoted here was spoken by Lord Brahma to Shri Narada Muni.

Anuccheda 43

1        In the conversation Vidura and Maitreya the following question was asked (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.5.4):

          "Therefore, O great sage, please give me instruction on the transcendental devotional service of the Lord, so that He who is situated in the heart of everyone can be pleased to impart from within, knowledge of the Absolute Truth in terms of the ancient Vedic principles delivered only to those who are purified by the process of devotional service."*

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "Here the words 'sam vartma' mean 'auspicious path'."

          "Bhakti-pute" means "purified by love", and "sa-tattvam jnanam" means "knowledge of the Lord's manifestations, which begins with Brahman, Bhagavan and Paramatma."  This verse was spoken by Shri Vidura to Shri Maitreya.

Anuccheda 44

1        The born and unborn demigods prayed (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.5.46-47):

          "O Lord, persons who, because of their serious attitude, attain the stage of enlightened devotional service achieve the complete meaning of renunciation and knowledge and attain the Vaikunthaloka in the spiritual sky by drinking the nectar of Your topics.*

2        "Others, who are pacified by means of transcendental self-realisation and have conquered over the modes of nature by dint of strong power and knowledge, also enter into You, but for them there is much pain, whereas the devotee simply discharges devotional service and thus feels no pain."*

3        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "The word 'akuntha-dhisnyam' means 'Vaikunthaloka'."

          "Visadasayah" means "abandoning all duplicity and accepting devotional service as the only goal of life."  In the second of these verses the inferiority of both means and end of they who are attached to the path of philosophical speculation (jnana) is described.  The word "apare" (others) here means "they who desire liberation".  For them there is much labour and trouble (sramah).  However, for they who accept the service of the Lord as the only goal of their lives there is no great labour and trouble.  They always experience great bliss as a result of their devotional service and they also attain liberation as a by-product of that service.  This verse was spoken by the born and unborn demigods to the Supreme Creator.

Anuccheda 45

1        Then Maitreya Muni spoke the following words of praise (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.1):

          "The royal dynasty of King Puru is worthy to serve the pure devotees because all the descendants of that family are devoted to the Personality of Godhead.  You are also born in that family, and it is wonderful that because of your attempt the transcendental pastimes of the Lord are becoming newer and newer at every moment."*

2        From this it is understood that the devotional service described here is the ultimate good.  That is the meaning.  This verse was spoken by Shri Maitreya.

Anuccheda 46

1        Shri Kapila explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.25.19):

          "Perfection in self-realisation cannot be attained by any kind of yogi unless he engages in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for that is the only auspicious path, called akuto-bhaya.  They are doubtless and fearless, and their entrance into the spiritual kingdom is guaranteed."*

2        The "perfection in self realisation" (brahma-siddhi) here is the direct appearance of the Absolute Truth.

Anuccheda 47

1        He also explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.24.44):

          "Therefore persons whose minds are fixed on the Lord engage in the intensive practice of devotional service.  That is the only means for attainment of the final perfection of life."*

2        Here the word "tivrena" means "intensive" and "pure because it is not mixed with yoga, fruitive work or other things".  (The Lord says), "With this devotional service (bhakti-yogena), which consists of many activities, beginning with hearing, they fix (arpitam sthiram) their minds (manah) on Me (mayi).  In this way (etavan) they attain the final perfection of life (nihsreyasa).  In this world (asmin) devotional service is the best path."  This verse was spoken by Lord Kapiladeva.

Anuccheda 48

1        In the teaching of Sanatana Kumara, after he had already explained the path of philosophical knowledge (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.22.39-40):

          "The devotees who are always engaged in the service of the toes of the lotus feet of the Lord, can very easily overcome hard-knotted desires for fruitive activities.  Because this is very difficult, the non devotees - the jnanis and yogis - although trying to stop the waves of sense gratification, cannot do so.  Therefore you are advised to engage in the devotional service of Krishna, the son of Vasudeva.*

2        "The ocean of nescience is very difficult to cross because it is infested with many dangerous sharks.  Although those who are non-devotees undergo severe austerities and penances to cross that ocean, we recommend that you simply take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, which are like boats for crossing the ocean.  Although the ocean is difficult to cross, by taking shelter of His lotus feet you will overcome all dangers."*

3        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments (on Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.22.37):

          "In Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.22.37, the Lord said, 'Please try to understand (tam avehi) the truth I will teach you.'  The Lord carefully gives that instruction in these two verses (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.22.39-40)."

          He then comments on Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.22.39-40):

          "Here someone may object:  Does  not the Sruti-sastra (Taittiriya Upanisad 2.1.2) say, 'One who understands Brahman attains the Supreme?'  How, then, is it possible that the jnanis and yogis cannot overcome the hard-knotted desires for fruitive activities?

          "To answer this objection, the Lord speaks the next verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.22.40).  In that verse the word 'aplavesam' means 'They who have not taken shelter of the boat that is the Supreme Personality of Godhead to cross the ocean of nescience.'  This verse says they find it very difficult to cross that ocean.  By engaging in the difficult practices of yoga they hope to cross that ocean filled with sharks that are the six senses.  One should take the boat (udupam) of the Lord's feet to cross that difficult to cross ocean (dustararnam).

4        Of these two paths (devotional service and impersonal speculation), which both have the same goal (to cross the ocean of nescience), the path of impersonal speculation is said to be very difficult to follow, whereas the path of devotional service of its own accord carries one to the destination.  Here it is said that the impersonalists only desire to cross the ocean of nescience (titirsanti).  They are not able actually to cross it.  That is the meaning to be understood here.  This verse was spoken by Shri Sanat-kumara to Shri Prthu.

Anuccheda 49

1        In this way (Sanat-kumara) instructed (King Prthu).  Only wishing to prove the practical effectiveness of devotional service, King Prthu engaged in devotional activities.  Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.23.9-10) explains:

2        "Thus the best amongst human beings, Maharaja Prthu, followed that path of spiritual advancement which was advised by Sanat-kumara.  That is to say, he worshipped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna."*

3        "Maharaja Prthu thus engaged completely in devotional service, executing the rules and regulations strictly according to principles, twenty four hours daily.  This his live and devotion unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, developed and became unflinching and fixed."*

4        Here the word "tenaiva" means "in this way".  This verse was spoken by Shri Maitreya.

Anuccheda 50

1        In the song of Lord Siva (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.69):

          "My dear sons of the King, just execute your occupational duty as kings with a pure heart.  Just chant this prayer fixing your mind on the lotus feet of the Lord.  That will bring you all good fortune, for the Lord will be very much pleased with you."*

2        Lord Siva continued (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.24.70):

          "Therefore, O sons of the King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is situated in everyone's heart.  He is also within your hearts.  Therefore chant the glories of the Lord and always meditate upon Him continuously."*

3        Here Lord Siva says, "You should worship (pujayadhvam) Lord Hari (tam).  This means "Do not perform ordinary material duties".  "You should glorify (grnantah) and meditate (dhyayantah) on Him, the Supersoul situated in everyone's heart (atma-stham bhutesv avasthitam atmanan).  Don't place the activities your mind and words in anything but Him.  Always (asakrt) worship Him.  Don't interrupt that worship with any other activity."

Anuccheda 51

1        Shri Narada Muni clarifies the nature of devotional service by describing what should and what should not be done.  He says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.31.9-13):

2        "The great sage Narada said: When a living entity is born to engage in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the supreme controller, his birth, all his fruitive activities, his life-span, his mind and his words are all factually perfect.*

3        "A civilised human being has three kinds of births.  The first birth is by a pure father and mother, and this birth is called birth by semen.  The next birth takes place when one is initiated by the spiritual master, and this birth is called savitra.  The third birth, called yajnika, takes place when one is given the opportunity to worship Lord Vishnu.  Despite the opportunities for attaining such births, even if one gets the life-span of a demigod, if one does not actually engage in the service of the Lord , everything is useless.  Similarly, one's activities may be mundane or spiritual, but they are useless if they are not meant for satisfying the Lord.*

4        "Without devotional service, what is the meaning of severe austerities, the process of hearing, the power of speech, the power of mental speculation, elevated intelligence, strength and the power of the senses?*

5        "Transcendental practices that do not ultimately help one realise the Supreme Personality of Godhead are useless, be they mystic yoga practices, the analytical study of matter, severe austerity, the acceptance of sannyasa, or the study of Vedic literature.  All these may be very important aspects of spiritual advancement, but unless one understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, all these processes are useless.*

6        "Factually the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the original source of all self-realisation.  Consequently, the goal of all auspicious activities - karma, jnana, yoga and bhakti - is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

7        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "In these verses is described the result of serving Lord Hari.  Without serving Him, everything becomes worthless.  That is the meaning.  Here the word 'janma' (birth) means "the seminal birth from a pure father and mother, initiation with a sacred thread ceremony and initiation into the performance of Vedic-sacrifices.  Even if one gets a life span as long as that of the demigods, what is the use of his words (vacobhih), power of mental speculation (citta-vrttibhih), power of the senses (indriya-radhasa), performance of yoga (yogena), analytical study of matter (sankhyena) or other (sreyobhir anyaih) auspicious activities, such as renunciation and following vows, if he does not serve Lord Hari?

8        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments on Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.31.13:

          "Here someone may object: 'How can it be that the results of all spiritual activities other than devotional service are worthless?'  To answer this Narada says that Lord Hari (atma) is the goal (avadhih) of all auspicious activities (sreyasam).  This is true (arthatah) because He is more dear (priyah) than anyone or anything.

          To this our objector may reply: 'That maya be, but why is Lord Hari the goal of all auspicious activities."'  To this Narada replies:  'He (atma), by casting aside all ignorance, reveals to everyone (sarvesam) their spiritual identity (atma-dah).  Another interpretation of the word 'atma-dah' is that before Bali Maharaja and other devotees He appeared in His spiritual form as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and gave Himself as a gift to them.  He is also dear (priyah) because His form is full of transcendental bliss."

9        The phrase "atma sarvesam api bhutanam" means that He is the Supersoul in all pure living entities.  This is so because He is like the sun and they are like the rays of sunlight.  For this reason it is said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.14.54-55):

10      "Therefore it is his own self that is most dear to every embodied living being, and it is simply for the satisfaction of this self that the whole material creation of moving and non moving entities exist.***

11      "You should know Krishna to be the original Soul of all living entities.  For the benefit of the whole universe, He has, out of His causeless mercy, appeared as an ordinary human being.  He has done this by the strength of His internal potency."*

12      The two "atmas" in this verse are the individual living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  The word "atma-dah" (He who gives Himself) means either that the Lord reveals Himself to His devotees or that the Lord places Himself under the control of His devotees.  That is Shrila Shridhara Svami's interpretation.

Anuccheda 52

1        Furthermore (in Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.31.14 it is said):

          "As pouring water on the root of a tree energises the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality."*

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "By satisfying Lord Hari one attains the same result as if he has satisfied the many demigods with many pious deeds.  However, by worshipping the demigods one does not attain the result of satisfying Lord Hari.  That is the example given in this verse.  This verse was spoken by Shri Narada to the Pracetas.

Anuccheda 53

1        In this matter Lord Rsabhadeva's instructions to His sons should be consulted.  There He said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.5.3 and 5.5.25):

          "Those who are interested in reviving Krishna consciousness and increasing their love of Godhead do not like to do anything that is not related to Krishna.  They are not interested in mingling with people who are busy maintaining their bodies, eating, sleeping, mating and defending.  They are not attached to their homes, although they may be householders.  Nor are they attached to wives, children, friends or wealth.  At the same time, they are not indifferent to the execution of their duties.  Such people are interested in collecting only enough money to keep the body and soul together."*

          "I am fully opulent, almighty and superior to Lord Brahma and Indra, the king of the heavenly planets.  I am also the bestower of all happiness obtained in the heavenly kingdom and by liberation.  Nonetheless, the brahmanas do not seek material comforts from Me.  They are very pure and do not want to possess anything.  They simply engage in My devotional service.  What is the need of their asking for material benefits from anyone else?"*

2        At the end of his conversation with King Rahugana, a brahmana said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.13.20):

          "My dear King Rahugana, you are also a victim of the external energy, being situated on the path of attraction to material pleasure.  So that you may become an equal friend to all living entities, I now advise you to give up your kingly position and the rod by which you punish criminals.  Give up attraction to sense objects and take up the sword of knowledge sharpened by devotional service.  Then you will be able to cut the hard knot of illusory energy and cross to the other side of the ocean of nescience."*

3        The knowledge (jnana) here is knowledge of devotional service.

Anuccheda 54

1        Shri Rahugana replied (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.13.21-22):

          "This birth as a human being is the best of all.  Even birth among the demigods in the heavenly planets is not as glorious as birth as a human being on this earth.  What is the use of the exalted position of a demigod?  In the heavenly planets, due to profuse material comforts, there is no possibility of associating with devotees.*

2        "It is not at all wonderful that simply by being covered by the dust of your lotus feet, one immediately attains the platform of pure devotional service to Adhoksaja, which is not available even to great demigods like Brahma.  By associating with you just for a moment, I am now freed from all argument, false prestige and lack of discrimination, which are the roots of entanglement in the material world.  Now I am free from all these problems."*

3        The meaning of this verse is clear.  This verse was spoken by a brahmana to King Rahugana.

Anuccheda 55

1        At the conclusion of His instructions to King Citraketu, Lord Sankarsana said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.16.62):

          "By the strength of one's discrimination one should give up the desire for fruitive results in the present life and in the next.  Thus becoming experienced in transcendental knowledge, one should become My devotee."*

2        In Prahlada's teachings to the sons of the demons (Shrimad Bhagavatam 9.6.1-2):

          "One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life - in other words, from the tender age of childhood - to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements.  The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service.  Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.*

3        "The human form of life affords one a chance to return home, back to Godhead.  Therefore every living entity, especially in the human form of life, must engage in devotional service to the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu.  This devotional service is natural because Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the most beloved, the master of the soul, and the well-wisher of all other living beings."*

4        These verses say "Here (iha), in this human birth, one should engage in devotional service (bhagavatan dharman acaret).  Because in a birth among the demigods there is an abundance of sense gratification, and because in a birth as an animal there is no power of discrimination, one should not waste his time when he has attained a human birth.  Therefore he says, "From the beginning of childhood (kaumare) one should engage in devotional service."  This is so because this (tad api) human birth is temporary (adhruvam) and rarely achieved (durlabham).  The Vedic scriptures say that the human birth is the most valuable, because in it one can engage in the activities of devotional service.  One should understand the human birth in that way.

5        In the second verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.6.2) he shows that the human birth is appropriate for engaging in devotional service.  He says "The human form of life (iha) affords one a chance to return home, back to Godhead (purusasya visnoh padopasarpanam).  This is so because Lord Vishnu is naturally dear (priyah) to the living entities (bhutanaam).  They love Him and He loves them.  Here the word "atma" means "the Supersoul", and it is said the devotees attain His abode (padopasrpanam).  Here the Lord is called "isvara" (the controller) because He has the power to do anything, undo anything and change anything.  He is also called "suhrt" (the friend) because He wishes auspiciousness for everyone.

6        Prahlada Maharaja concludes (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.6.26):

          "Religion, economic development and sense gratification - these are described in the Vedas as tri-varga, or three ways to salvation.  Within these three categories are education and self-realisation, ritualistic ceremonies performed according to Vedic injunction, logic, the science of law and order, and the various means of earning one's livelihood.  These are the external subject matters of study in the Vedas, and therefore I consider them material.  However, I consider surrender to the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu to be transcendental."*

7        Here the word "iksa" means "self-realisation".  "Tad etat nigamasya" means "all the meanings of the Vedas", and the words "suhrah paramasya pumsah" refer to the Supersoul, who stays in everyone's heart.  (Here Prahlada Maharaja says) "However, I consider (manye) surrender (svatmarpanam) to Him transcendental (satyam)."  This is so because it brings a transcendental result.  Or, it is so because it brings a valuable result, whereas the result of performing material duties and other non devotional activities is worthless.  That is the meaning.  This verse was spoken by Prahlada Maharaja to the sons of the demons

Anuccheda 56

1        He also said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.7.29):

          "Of the different processes recommended for disentanglement from material life, the one personality explained and accepted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead should be considered all-perfect.  That process is the performance of duties by which love for the Supreme Lord develops."*

2        The meaning of the previous verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.7.28) and this verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.7.29) is: "Of the many thousands (sahasranam) of different processes (upaya) for burning the seed of fruitive activities (karma-bija-nirharanam) Lord Shri Narada (bhagavata) taught me this one.  This is the best of the many thousands of these processes because it quickly (anjas) and without difficulty brings love (ratih) for the Supreme Lord (isvare bhagavati).  The burning of the seed of fruitive activities is a natural by-product of the development of that love.  That is the meaning.

Anuccheda 57

1        He describes the different parts of that process in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.7.30):

          "One must accept the bona fide spiritual master and render service unto him with great devotion and faith.  Whatever one has in one's possession should be offered to the spiritual master, and in the association of saintly persons and devotees one should worship the Lord, hear the glories of the Lord with faith, glorify the transcendental qualities and activities of the Lord, always meditate on the Lord's lotus feet, and worship the Deity of the Lord strictly according to the injunctions of the sastra and guru."*

          Then he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.7.33):

2        "By these activities (as mentioned above) one is able to cut down the influence of the enemies, namely lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and jealousy, and when thus situated one can render service to the Lord.  In this way one surely attains the platform of loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

3        That is not the only result obtained by performing the previously described activities that begin with serving the spiritual master with faith and devotion.  One is also able to cut down the influence of the enemies, namely lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and jealousy, and then one can render service (bhaktih kriyate) to the Lord.

Anuccheda 58

1        In the beginning of his description of the duties of varnasrama-dharma, where he discusses the duties of human beings in general, (Shri Narada Muni said in Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.11.7):

2        "The Supreme Being, the Personality of Godhead, is the essence of all Vedic knowledge, the root of all religious principles, and the memory of great authorities.  O King Yudhisthira, this principle of religion is to be understood as evidence.  On the basis of this religious principle, everything is satisfied, including one's mind, should and even one's body."*

3        Here the phrase "the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the root of religious principles (dharmasya mulam bhagavan) means that the Lord is the authority that establish religious principles.  He is the authority that supports the scriptures (smrtam) and they who know the scriptures (tad-vidam).  For both these external things are worthless.  These must be about devotional service to the Lord.  Therefore Shri Manu-samhita explains:

4        "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is all the Vedas, the root of religion, the memory and good character of they who understand the Vedas, the spiritual activities of the saintly devotees, and satisfaction of the self."

5        This is also described in Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.1.2):

          "Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart.  The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all.  Such truth uproots the threefold miseries.  This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva (in his maturity), is sufficient in itself for God Realisation.  What is the need of any other scripture?  As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart."*

6        By the religion of devotional service the "atma", that is the heart, mind, and self are pleased.  This is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6:

          "The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendental Lord.  Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self."*

          Because the word "su" which here means :to the highest degree", is used here, this verse describes direct devotional service, where there are many activities, beginning with hearing about the Lord.

7        At the end of this description of religious duties is the story of Narada Muni.  There it is said that in his first birth, as a Gandharva, he performed devotional service by singing about the Lord.  In his second birth, this time as a sudra, he heard the Lord's glories in the company of saintly devotees.  In this way Narada became an intimate associate of the Lord.  He did not perform the duties of varnasrama-dharma.

8        There is also the following verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.15.68):

          "O King Yudhisthira, because of your service to the Supreme Lord, all of you Pandavas defeated the greatest dangers posed by numerous kings and demigods.  By serving the lotus feet of Krishna, you conquered great enemies, who were like elephants, and thus you collected ingredients for sacrifice.  By His grace, may you be delivered from material involvement."*

          Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "The common people follow the duties of varnasrama-dharma, but for the devotees devotional service fulfils all the goals of their lives.  This is seen in this verse describing the Pandavas."

          The meaning of this is that the devotees engage in direct devotional service to the Lord.

9        That devotional service is superior to performance of varnasrama-dharma is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.17):

          "One who has forsaken his material occupations to engage in devotional service of the Lord may sometimes fall down while in an immature stage, yet there is no danger of his being unsuccessful.  On the other hand, a non-devotee, though fully engaged in occupational duties, does not gain anything."*

          Later in this book (Shrimad Bhagavatam) the activities of devotional service, which should be performed by all living entities, and which bring the greatest benefit, are listed in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.11.11):

          "These are the general principles...hearing about the activities and instructions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead (who is the shelter of the saintly persons), chanting about these activities and instructions, always remembering these activities and instructions, trying to render service, performing worship, offering obeisances, becoming a servant, becoming a friend and surrendering one's whole self."*

10      Shri Jada Bharata's faith in devotional service is described in this prose passage (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.5.9.3.):

          "Due to his being especially gifted with the Lord's mercy, Bharata Maharaja could remember the incidents of his past life.  Although he received the body of a brahmana, he was still very much afraid of his relatives and friends who were not devotees.  He was always very cautious of such association because he feared that he would again fall down.  Consequently he manifested himself before the public eye as a madman-dull, blind, and deaf - so that others would not try to talk to him.  In this way he saved himself from bad association.  Within he was always thinking of the lotus feet of the Lord and chanting the Lord's glories, which save one from the bondage of fruitive action.  In this way he saved himself from the onslaught of non devotee associates."

          Shri Jada Bharata understood the foolishness of his offensive brothers and he also understood that the spiritual science of devotional service is superior to the duties of varnasrama-dharma.  This is described in the following prose passage (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 5.9.9):

          "After the father died, the nine stepbrothers of Jada Bharata, who considered Jada Bharata dull and brainless, abandoned the father's attempt to give Jada Bharata a complete education.  The stepbrothers of Jada Bharata were learned in the three Vedah-the Rg Veda, Sama Veda, and Yajur Vedas - which very much encourage fruitive activity.  The nine brothers were not at all spiritually enlightened in devotional service to the Lord.  Consequently they could not understand the highly exalted position of Jada Bharata."*

11      Shri Nrsimha Purana explains:

          "Brahma engaged the sages headed by Sanaka in renunciation, the sages headed by Marica in fruitive work, and Narada Muni in unalloyed devotional service."

12      Here the word "tena" (by him) refers to Lord Brahma. Only an appropriate and forced explanation will place the internal activities of direct devotional service, which begin with hearing about the Lord, among the external activities of varnasrama-dharma.  In other places are described the activities of devotional service when they are mixed with other activities.  This verse was spoken by Shri Narada to Shri Yudhisthira.

Anuccheda 59

1        In the story of Jayanta this question was asked (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.30):

          "Therefore, O completely sinless ones, I ask you to kindly tell me what the supreme good is.  After all, even half a moment's association with pure devotees within this world of birth and death is a priceless treasure for any man."***

          The answer is given in this verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.33);

2        "I consider that one whose intelligence is constantly disturbed by his falsely identifying himself with the temporary material world can achieve real freedom from fear only by worshipping the lotus feet of the infallible Supreme Lord.  in such devotional service all fear ceases entirely."***

4        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "In the first verse he explains what is the supreme good."        

          The question is asked (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.31):

          "Please speak about how one engages in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord, if you consider me capable of properly hearing these topics.  When a living entity offers loving service to the Supreme Lord, the Lord is immediately satisfied and in return He will give even His own self to the surrendered soul."***

          The answer is given (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.34-36):

          "Even ignorant living entities can very easily come to know the Supreme Lord if they adopt those means prescribed by the Supreme Lord Himself. The process recommended by the Lord is to be known as bhagavata-dharma, or devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.***

          "O king, one who accepts this process of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead will never blunder on his path in this world.  Even while running with eyes closed, he will never trip or fall.***

          "In accordance with the particular nature one has acquired in conditioned life, whatever one does with body, words, mind, senses, intelligence, or purified consciousness one should offer to the Supreme,, thinking, 'This is for the pleasure of Lord Narayana.'"***

          Then, after saying this, he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.37):

          "When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is separate from Krishna, he is overpowered by fear.  Because he is separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the material energy, his conception of life is reversed.  In other words, instead of being the eternal servant of Krishna, he becomes Krishna's competitor.  This is called 'viparyayp smrtih'.  To nullify this mistake, one who is actually learned and advanced worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his spiritual master, worshipful Deity, and source of life.  He thus worships the Lord by the process of unalloyed devotional service."*

          In this verse the word "bhaktya" means "by engaging in devotional service that consists of many activities beginning with hearing and chanting the Lord's glories and that is not mixed with impersonal speculation and other things."  "Ekaya" means "without interruption and performed with love."

Anuccheda 60

1        Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.2.36) explains:

          "In accordance with the particular nature one has acquired in conditioned life, whatever one does with body, words, mind, senses, intelligence or purified consciousness one should offer to the Supreme, thinking "This is for the pleasure of Lord Narayana."***

          From this it is understood that even ordinary work becomes devotional service when offered to the Lord.  This path, the path of always working for the Lord, seems to be opposed to the path of always performing the devotional activities that begin with hearing and chanting the Lord's glories.  Actually, either of these paths may be followed with steady conviction.  This steadiness is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.38):

2        "Although the duality of the material world does not ultimately exist, the conditioned soul experiences it as real under the influence of his own conditioned intelligence.  This imaginary experience of a world separate from Krishna can be compared to the acts of dreaming and desiring.  When the conditioned soul dreams at night of something desirable or horrible, or when he daydreams of what he would like to have or avoid, he creates a reality that has no existence beyond his own imagination.  The tendency of the mind is to accept and reject various activities based on sense gratification.  Therefore an intelligent person should control the mind, restricting it from the illusion of seeing things separate from Krishna, and when the mind is thus controlled he will experience actual fearlessness."***

3        Here the word "dvayah" means "the duality of material existence, which began with the pradhana, or unmanifested modes of nature."  although this duality does not exist (avidyamanah) in the heart of one who is pure, it is manifest (avabhati) in the mind (dhiya) of one rapt in meditation (dhyatuh) on ignorance.  In this way it is manifest to the living entity who is originally pure.  It is like (yatha) a dream (svapna) or thinking of desires (manoratha).  That is the meaning.  In this way the mind accepts some things and rejects others.  This activity of the mind should be controlled.  In that way, by engaging in unwavering devotional service, one becomes fearless.  That is the meaning.

Anuccheda 61

1        Fearing that someone may object, saying, "Is it not true that when one attempts to control the mind by repeated practice of yoga interruptions in his devotional service remain?"  I say that one who engages in devotional service is attached to devotional service is successful in controlling the mind.  The way this is done is explained in this second quotation (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.39):

2        "An intelligent person who has controlled his mind and conquered fear should give up all attachment to material objects such as wife, family and nation and should wander freely without embarrassment, hearing and chanting the holy names of the Lord, the bearer of the chariot wheel.  The whole names of Krishna are all-auspicious because they describe His transcendental birth and activities, which He performs within this world for the salvation of the conditioned souls.  Thus the holy names of the Lord are sung throughout the world."***

3        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "The words 'janmani karmani namani tadarthakani' mean 'the Lord's births, deeds and names'.  Fearing that someone may say 'It is not possible for one to properly understand the Lord's names', this verse says 'One should wander freely, hearing and chanting the famous holy names of the Lord.' Here the word 'asangah' means 'without material desire'."

          This verse was spoken by Shri Kavi Videha.

Anuccheda 62

1        Rejecting fruitive work and other activities, he prescribes direct devotional service (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.3.44-47):

          "Childish and foolish people are attached to materialistic, fruitive, although the actual goal of life is to become free from such activities.  Therefore, the Vedic injunctions indirectly lead one to the path of ultimate liberation by first prescribing fruitive religious activities, just as a father promises his child candy so that the child will take his medicine.***

2        "If an ignorant person who has not conquered the material senses does not adhere to the Vedic injunctions, certainly he will engage in sinful and irreligious activities.  Thus his reward will be repeated birth and death.***

3        "By executing without attachment the regulated activities prescribed in the Vedas, offering the results of such work to the Supreme Lord, one attains the perfection of freedom from the bondage of material work.  The material fruitive results offered in the revealed scriptures are not the actual goal of Vedic knowledge, but are meant for stimulating the interest of the performer.***

4        "One who desires to quickly cut the knot of false ego, which binds the spiritual soul, should worship the Supreme Lord, Kesava, by the regulations found in Vedic literatures such as the tantras.***

5        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments on 11.3.44:

          The word 'paroksa-vadah' means 'concealment of the real nature of something by claiming it is something different that what it really is'.  The Sruti-sastra (Aitareya Upanisad 1.3.14) explains, 'They call the four Vedic priests catur-huta.  In this way the demigods are fond of using paroksa-vada'.  In this verse the paroksa-vada is in the phrase beginning with the words 'karma-moksaya'.

6        "Here someone may object, 'Is it not true that the activities (karmani) given (dhatte) in the Vedas are meant not for ultimate liberation but only for attainment of Svargaloka?'  To answer this he speaks the words beginning with 'balanam anusasanam'.  Here the example of medicine (agadam) is given.  By making him desire khana-laddu candies, a father makes his child drink medicine.  First he makes the child drink the medicine, and then he gives him the candy.  The goal here is not to give the child some sandy.  The goal is to cure him of the disease.  In the same way the Vedas offer many material benefits only to give activities by which the living entities attain liberation."

7        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments on Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.3.45:

          "Here someone may object, 'Is is not true that if liberation were the real goal of life then the speaker here would first have rejected all fruitive work?'  To answer this he speaks this verse (11.3.45)."

8        The word "ajnah" is defined in this way:  A person whose intelligence is full of faith in the devotional activities that begin with hearing about the Lord is a wise man (jna).  A person who has no such faith is a fool (ajna).  That is the meaning.  In the same way a person who has not conquered his material senses (ajitendriyah) cannot attain renunciation from the host of material pleasures that culminate in the happinesses experienced by the demigod Brahma, and neither can he be eager to understand the nature of the Supreme Spirit.  That is the meaning.

9        Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.20.9) explains:

          "As long as one is not satiated by fruitive activity and has not awakened his taste for devotional service by sravanam kirtanam visnoh, one has to act according to the regulative principles of the Vedic injunctions."***

          This verse describes a person who has neither faith nor renunciation.

10      By working in defiance of the Vedic injunctions (vikarmana) a person attains death after death (mrtyor mrtym upaiti) and he attains tortures as painful as dying.  That is the meaning (in Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.3.45).  However, by somehow renouncing all work one will not attain liberation.  It is by offering one's work to the Lord that one attains His mercy.  This kind of work is described (in Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.3.46) in the word "vedoktam" (the works prescribed by the Vedas).  Therefore one is not forbidden to perform the works prescribed by the Vedas (vedoktam eva kurvanah), for by performing them one attains the perfection of freedom from the bondage of material work (naiskarmyam labhate siddhim).

11      Here someone may object: "Is it not true that by working in that way one will become attached to fruit of that work?"  Here the reply is: No.  By working in that way one remains unattached (nihsangah) and attains freedom from the bondage of material work (naiskarmyam).  This happens because the results of work are offered (arpitam) to the Supreme Lord (isvare).

12      Here someone may object: "Is it not true that if one works because of hearing in the Vedas of a certain result, then he will certainly attain the result of that work?"  The answer given here is: No.  The Vedas describe these results only to attract (rocanartha) the people to perform these beneficial activities.  Here the example is given of promising khanda-laddu candies to convince a child to drink medicine.  In this way one should understand the Vedas' offering of certain attractive results for performing certain activities.

13      Shri Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad explains:

          "He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without understanding the science of self-realisation."*

                   3.8.10

          "By observing celibacy and studying the Vedas, brahmanas try to understand the Supreme."

                   4.4.22

          When they understand the highest knowledge learned by performing Vedic sacrifices and other auspicious activities described in the Vedas, they engage in activities that bring no karmic result.

          The scriptures say, "Desiring to attain Svargaloka, one performs sacrifices."  One who desires to attain Svargaloka is certainly not desireless.  Still, eventually by performing auspicious activities he is automatically promoted to become free from karmic results.  If this is so, then what can be said of attaining the Lord's mercy by offering to Him the fruits of one's work?  That is the meaning.

14      In this way one gradually becomes free of karma.  Shrimad Bhagavatam (4.31.14), however, explains:

          "As pouring water on the root of a tree energises the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality."*

          This verse describes the way to quickly satisfy all occupational duties, become free of karmic reactions, and cut the knot of false ego in the heart.  This way is also explained in these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.3.47):

          "One who desires to quickly cut the knot of false ego, which binds the spiritual soul, should worship the Supreme Lord, Kesava by the regulations found in Vedic literatures such as the tantras.***

          This verse means that one who desires to quickly (asu) cut the knot of false ego in the heart (hrdaya-granthim), which binds the spiritual soul (aparatmanah), should abandon all other duties and (and), worship Lord Kesava according to the regulations found in Vedic literatures such as the tantras (tantroktena).

Anuccheda 63

          One should not see the various demigods as independent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  This is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.3.55):

          "Thus the worshipper of the Supreme Lord should recognise that the Personality of Godhead is all-pervading and should worship Him through His presence in fire, the sun, water and other elements, in the heart of the guest one receives in one's home, and also in one's own heart.  In this way the worshipper will very soon achieve liberation."***

          Here the word "atmanam" means "the Supersoul".  This verse was spoken by Shri Avirhotra to Videha.

Anuccheda 64

1        They who do not worship the Lord are described in the passage beginning with these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.5.1):

          "My dear Yogendras, all of you are most perfect in knowledge of the science of the self.  Therefore, kindly explain to me the destination of those who for the most part never worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who are unable to quench their material desires and who are not in control of their own selves."***

2        This question is answered in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.5.2-3):

          "Each of the four social orders, headed by the brahmanas, was born through different combinations of the modes of nature, from the face, arms, thighs and feet of the Supreme Lord in His universal form.  Thus the four spiritual orders were also generated.***

3        "If any of the members of the four varnas and four asramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they will fall down from their position into a hellish state of life."***

4        Previously, in Shri Drumila's instructions, in the prayers the demigods offered to Lord Narayana, it was said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.4.10):

          "The demigods place many obstacles on the path of those who worship You to transcend the temporary abodes of the demigods and reach Your supreme abode.  Those who offer the demigods their assigned shares in sacrificial performances encounter no such obstacles.  But because You are the direct protector of Your devotee, he is able to step over the head of whatever obstacles the demigods place before him."***

5        This verse means: "They who offer (dadatah) the demigods their assigned shares (sva-bhagan) in sacrificial performances encounter no obstacles from the demigods (sura-krtah).  However, out of envy the demigods do place many obstacles before they who serve You (tvam)."  The word "yadi" here is used to show a conclusion, as in the statement "yadi vedah pramanam"  (The Vedas are the highest authority).  The conclusion here is "You (tvam) become their protector (avita).  In this way one who serves You places (dhatte) his foot (padam) on the head (murdhni) of any obstacle (vighna).  Making these obstacles like a stairway, the devotee goes to the Lord.  That is the meaning.  Hearing of the fate of the conditioned souls in the material world, King Videha asked the question posed in Shrimad Bhagavatam  11.5.1.  Shri Camasa Muni answered that question in Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.5.2-3 and especially in the last line of Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.5.3, by describing the terrible condition of the conditioned souls.  This verse was spoken by Shri Camasa Muni to the King of Videha.

Anuccheda 65

1        Now that it is established that devotional service should be performed, the King of Videha asks another question (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.5.19):

          "In what colours and forms does the Supreme Personality of Godhead appear in each of the different ages, and with what names and by what types of regulative principles is the Lord worshipped in human society."***

2        The sage answered (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.5.20):

          "In each of the four yugas, or ages-Krta, Treta, Dvapara and Kali - Lord Kesava appears with various complexions, names and forms and is thus worshipped by various processes."***

3        Here the words "nanaiva vidhina" mean "by many different paths".  This verse was spoken by Shri Karabhajana Muni to the king of Videha.

Anuccheda 66

1        Also, conversing with Uddhava, the Supreme Personality of Godhead said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.7.6):

          "Now you should completely give up all attachment to your personal friends and relatives and fix your mind on Me.  Thus being always conscious of Me, you should observe all things with equal vision and wander throughout the earth."***

2        The Lord Himself said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.4.31):

          "Uddhava is not inferior to Me in any way because he is never affected by the modes of material nature.  Therefore he may remain in this world in order to disseminate specific knowledge of the Personality of Godhead."*

          Because the Lord Himself thus described Uddhava as a perfect liberated soul, the Lord's giving instruction to Uddhava (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.7.6) is not meant for Uddhava but for others.  In this way the verse should be understood to be addressed to others.  Speaking in an oblique way, the Lord's intention here is to say, "Following your path, the devotees should wander over the earth."  Here the word "sama-drk" means "Being neither repelled nor enamoured by those things that have no relationship with Me."  The word "tu" (indeed) emphasises that one should renounce those things that have no relation to the Lord.  That is what the Lord intended to say here.

3        Before the Lord even gave this instruction, Uddhava Himself said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.4.46-49):

          "Simply by decorating ourselves with the garlands, fragrant oils, clothes and ornaments that You have already enjoyed, and by eating the remnants of Your meals, we, Your servants will indeed conquer Your illusory energy."***

4        "Naked sages who seriously endeavour in spiritual practice, who have raised their semen upward, who are peaceful and sinless members of the renounced order, attain the spiritual abode called Brahman."***

5-6     "O greatest of mystics, although we are conditioned souls wandering on the path of fruitive work, we will certainly cross beyond the darkness of this material world simply by hearing about Your Lordship in the association of Your devotees.  Thus we are always remembering and glorifying the wonderful things You do and the wonderful things You say.  We ecstatically recall Your amorous pastimes with Your confidential conjugal devotees and how You boldly smile and move about while engaged in such youthful pastimes.  My dear Lord, Your loving pastimes are bewilderingly similar to the activities of ordinary people within this material world."***

Anuccheda 67

1        Impersonal knowledge (jnana-yoga) cannot bring any good result.  Devotional service, however, very easily brings one to the desired goal.  Real knowledge is only manifested in relation to devotional service, which itself brings one to the real goal of life.  The Lord describes devotional service in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.17):

2        "For the purpose of maintaining his body, a liberated sage should not act, speak or contemplate in terms of material good or bad.  Rather, he should be detached in all material circumstances, and taking pleasure in self-realisation, he should wander about engaged in this liberated life-style, appearing like a retarded person to outsiders."***

3        After thus describing the jnana-yoga, the Lord in order to show the nature of devotional service, explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.18):

          "If through meticulous study one becomes expert in reading Vedic literature but makes no endeavour to fix one's mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then one's endeavour is certainly like that of a man who works very hard to take care of a cow that gives no milk.  In other words, the fruits of one's laborious study of Vedic knowledge will simply be the labour itself.  There will be no other tangible result."*

4        The word "para-brahman" means "the Absolute Truth" and, considering Them the same, does not distinguish between the impersonal Brahman and the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  When one studies the Vedas he must also fix his mind on the para-brahman.  That is said here.  If many millions of times one carefully studies the Upanisads and the other parts of the Vedas he will not attain faith in the para-brahman.  But if one fixes his mind on the form, pastimes, and other features of the supremely opulent Personality of Godhead, then by studying the Vedas he will attain faith in the impersonal Brahman and the Supreme Personality of Godhead both.

5        For this reason it is said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.4.40):

          "For a person who is suffering in the fire of countless miseries and who desires to cross the insurmountable ocean of material existence, there is no suitable boat except that of cultivating devotion to the transcendental taste for the narrations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's pastimes."*

6        It is also said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.14.40):

          "My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the only auspicious path.  If one gives it up simply for speculative knowledge, or the understanding that these living beings are spirit souls and the material world is false, he undergoes a great deal of trouble.  He only gains troublesome and inauspicious activities.  His endeavours are like beating a husk that is already devoid of rice.  One's labour becomes fruitless."*

Anuccheda 68

          One should not study even Vedic literatures that do not contain descriptions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's transcendental pastimes.  The Lord Himself says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.19):

          "My dear Uddhava, that man is certainly most miserable who takes care of a cow that gives no milk, an unchaste wife, a body totally dependent on others, useless children or wealth not utilised for the right purpose.  Similarly, one who studies Vedic knowledge devoid of My glories is also most miserable."***

          In this verse the word "maya" (by Me) means "by the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "hinam" means "without descriptions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's pastimes and features."

Anuccheda 69

1        The Lord explains the words "maya hinam" (without Me) in the next verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.20):

          "My dear Uddhava, an intelligent person should never take to literatures that do not contain descriptions of My activities, which purify the whole universe.  Indeed, I create, maintain and annihilate the entire material manifestation.  Among all My pastime incarnations, the most beloved are Krishna and Balarama.  Any so-called knowledge that does not recognise these activities of Mine is simply barren and is not acceptable to those who are actually intelligent."***

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "This verse says 'What is the use of a scripture that does not contain descriptions of My pastimes, which purify the whole universe?  In these pastimes I create, maintain and annihilate the universe.  For that reason My pastimes purify the universe.  As I think of My pastime-incarnations I say that My birth and pastimes as Lord Rama and Lord Krishna are the best.  They are desired by the worlds.  They are a great reservoir of spiritual love.  Without them even the words of the Vedas are worthless.  A wise man will not study such worthless Vedas.'"

3        This is also confirmed by Shri Narada Muni in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.22):

          "Learned circles have positively concluded that the infallible purpose of the advancement of knowledge, namely austerities, study of the Vedas, sacrifice, chanting of hymns, and charity, culminates in the transcendental descriptions of the Lord, who is defined in choice poetry."*

4        For this reason Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the avatar that purifies Kali-yuga said:

          "The Four Vedas and the Upanisads are far from the nectar descriptions of Lord Hari.  That is why these scriptures do not make the heart melt, the body tremble, the body's hairs stand erect, and eyes become filled with tears."

Anuccheda 70

1        After thus explaining that by engaging in devotional service one attains the perfection of all knowledge, he describes the final conclusion of following the path of knowledge (jnana) in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.21):

2        "Coming to this conclusion of all knowledge, one should give up the false conception of material variety that one imposes upon the soul and thus cease one's material existence.  The mind should be fixed on Me, since I am all-pervading."***

3        The word jijnasaya is explained in the beginning of this chapter (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.1):

          "My dear Uddhava, due to the influence of the material modes of nature, which are under My control, the living entity is sometimes designated as conditioned and sometimes liberated.  In fact, however, the soul is never really bound up or liberated, and since I am the supreme Lord of Maya, which is the cause of the modes of nature, I also am never to be considered liberated or in bondage."***

Anuccheda 71

1        After thus describing devotional service mixed with impersonal knowledge, in the next four verses, treating that mixed service with contempt, he describes pure devotional service, which contains perfect knowledge.  He says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.22):

2        "My dear Uddhava, if you are not able to free your mind from all material disturbance and thus absorb it completely on the spiritual platform, then perform all your activities as an offering to Me, without trying to enjoy the fruits."*

3        This verse is like Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.1 which says:

          "The demigods place many obstacles on the path of those who worship You to transcend the temporary abodes of the demigods and reach Your supreme abode.  Those who offer the demigods their assigned shares in sacrificial performances encounter no such obstacles.  But because You are the direct protector of Your devotee, he is able to step over the head of whatever obstacle the demigods place before him."***

          They who desire impersonal knowledge are actually like the materialists.  Assuming that Uddhava is like them, Lord Krishna speaks this verse.

4        It is also said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.14.4):

          "My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the only auspicious path.  If one gives it up simply for speculative knowledge, or the understanding that these living beings are spirit souls and the material world is false, he undergoes a great deal of trouble.  He only gains troublesome and inauspicious activities.  His endeavours are like beating a husk that is already devoid of rice.  One's labour becomes fruitless."*

          On this evidence Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.22 should be understood to mean, "It is not possible for you to fix your mind on Brahman simply by following the path of impersonal speculation without devotional service.  Therefore you should take shelter of the path of devotional service, which is served by all the virtues of the path of knowledge and all other paths also."

          Then the Lord explains how to ascend the stairway of devotional service.  He says, "Perform all your activities as an offering to Me."

          This verse may also be interpreted to mean, "If because in your previous births you had not engaged in devotional service, you wish to understand impersonal Brahman, and you are not able to fix your mind on Brahman, then perform all your activities as an offering to Me."

          Here the word "samacara" means "offer" and "nirapeksah" means "without any other desire".

Anuccheda 72

1        Then the Lord says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.23-24):

          "My dear Uddhava, narrations of My pastimes and qualities are all-auspicious and purify the entire universe.  A faithful person who constantly hears, glorifies and remembers such transcendental activities, who through dramatic performances relives My pastimes, beginning with My appearance, and who takes full shelter of Me, dedicating his religious, sensual and occupational activities for My satisfaction, certainly obtains unflinching devotional service to Me, the eternal Personality of Godhead."***

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "In this verse the Lord describes confidential devotional service, which is eventually attained by offering fruits of one's work to the Lord, and which is performed by a person in pure goodness."

3        Here the word "abhinayan" means "the devotees portray the Lord's birth and pastimes in theatrical performances".  Here "dharma" means "pious activities, such as giving cows in charity", and "mad-arthe" means "when these pious activities are performed to celebrate great festivals in honour of My birthday and other days sacred to Me."  "Kama" means "the desire to live in a great palace and other desires like that", and "mad-arthe" means "when that desire is fulfilled by living in My temple in order to serve Me".  "Artha" means "great wealth in My service".  "Mad-apasrayah" means "in one's heart taking shelter of Me and no one else".  "Labhate niscalam bhaktim mayi" means "he attains eternally unwavering devotional service to Me, service that consists of many activities beginning with hearing about Me".  By tasting the happiness of devotional service one treats impersonal liberation and other things with contempt.  The object of the devotees' service is eternal and never changes or ceases to exist.  For this reason the Lord says He is "sanatane" (eternal).

Anuccheda 73

1        Fearing that someone may ask, "What does one do on the path of devotional service?'  or "How does one attain faith in the path of devotional service?"  the Lord tells what and how in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.25):

2        "One who has obtained pure devotional service by association with My devotees always engages in worshipping Me."*

3        Here "bhaktya" means "with attraction to devotional service", "sah" means "the devotee" and "mam upasita" means "worships Me".  The Lord says, "In this way the devotee easily attains knowledge of the spiritual form of Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Anuccheda 74

1        Then the Lord says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.25):

          "Thus he very easily goes to My abode, which is revealed by My pure devotees."*

2        Here "anjasa" (very easily) means "by engaging in devotional service" and "padam" means "My abode".  This verse was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Anuccheda 75

1        The path of devotional service is most perfect, important, and ancient because it is personally taught by the Lord.  Other paths, being taught by various conditioned souls according to their own speculations, are insignificant by comparison and relatively modern.  This is confirmed by Uddhava (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.1-2):

2        "My dear Krishna, the learned sages who explain Vedic literature recommend various processes for perfecting one's life.  Considering the varieties of  viewpoint, my Lord, please tell me whether all these processes are equally important, or whether one of them is supreme.***

3        "My dear Lord, You have clearly explained the process of unalloyed devotional service, by which a devotee removes all material association from his life, enable him to fix his mind on You."***

4        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "Here the word 'sreyamsi' means 'the means for attaining the best thing'.  Here he asks 'Are all these processes important, or is one of them supreme?'  To establish that one of them actually is supreme, he speaks the second of these two verses.  Here he says, 'The other paths are not spoken directly by You (the Lord), but the path of devotional service is directly spoken by You.  Others claim that their methods are the best ways to attain perfection. How can they all be the best ways to attain it?  How can they all give the same result?   One of them must be the best.'"

Anuccheda 76

1        The Supreme Personality of Godhead answered (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.3):

          "By the influence of time, the transcendental sound of Vedic knowledge was lost at the time of annihilation.  Therefore, when the subsequent creation took place, I spoke the Vedic knowledge to Brahma because I Myself am the religious principles enunciated in the Vedas."***

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          Because it brings the best result devotional service is the best.  The other paths, each according to its own nature, bring results insubstantial as flowers imagined to float in the sky, although the followers think their path is the best.  To distinguish between these different paths and to establish the actual message of the Vedas, the Lord speaks these seven verses (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.3-9).  Here the word "mad-atmakah" means "he who fixes his thoughts on Me."

          "Mad-atmakah" may also mean "manifested from My transcendental form".  The Lord's form is free from the modes of material nature.  This will be proved later in this book.

Anuccheda 77

1        Next the Lord gives the reason the followers of these different patha each claim their path is the best (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.9):

2        "O best among men, the intelligence of human beings is bewildered by My illusory potency, and thus, according to their own activities and whims, they speak in innumerable ways about what is actually good for people."***

3        This verse means that according to their own natures their intelligence is bewildered by My illusory potency (man-maya-mohita-dhiyah).  In this way they proclaim many different things (anekantam) to be the goal of life (sreyah) and the way to attain the goal of life.

Anuccheda 78

          Then the Lord says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.20):

          "My dear Uddhava, neither through astanga-yoga (the mystic yoga-system to control the senses), nor through impersonal monism or an analytical study of the Absolute Truth, nor through study of the Vedas, nor through practice of austerities, nor through charity, nor through acceptance of sannyasa can one satisfy Me as much as one can by developing unalloyed devotional service unto Me."*

Anuccheda 79

1        The Lord also says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.22):

          "Neither religious activities endowed with honesty and mercy nor knowledge obtained with great penance can completely purify one's consciousness if they are bereft of loving service to Me."*

2        Here "dharma" means "religious duties performed without material motive", "vidya" means "the spiritual knowledge taught in the Vedic scriptures", and "tapah" means "austerities performed to become able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead".

Anuccheda 80

1        The Lord describes devotional service in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.26):

          "When a diseased eye is treated with medicinal ointment it gradually recovers its power to see.  Similarly, as a conscious living entity cleanses himself of material contamination by hearing and chanting the pious narrations of My glories, he regains his ability to see Me, the Absolute Truth, in My subtle spiritual form."*

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "Someone may object, 'Is it not true that the Sruti-sastra says:

          One who knows Brahman attains the Supreme.

                   -Taittiriya Upanisad 2.1.2

          and

          By understanding the Supreme one crosses beyond death

                   - Svetasvatara Upanisad 3.8

          and therefore one attains the Supreme by attaining knowledge and becoming free of ignorance?  What is the need for devotional service?'

          "Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.26 answers this objection.  There the word 'atma' means 'the heart', and 'parimrjyate' means 'becomes purified'.  This occurs by hearing (sravanah) My names and the sacred songs about Me (mat-punya-gatha).  The path of knowledge is a secondary aspect of devotional service.  It is not completely separate from devotional service."

          This verse was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Anuccheda 81

1        Discussing the relative merits of the yogas of work (karma-yoga), knowledge (jnana-yoga), and devotional service (bhakti-yoga), in the next five verses the Lord treats knowledge and work with contempt and declares the primacy of devotional service.  There, to show contempt for the diligent performance of austerities, He says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.20.29):

2        "When an intelligent person engages constantly in worshipping Me through loving devotional service as described by Me, his heart becomes firmly situated in Me.  Thus all material desires within the heart are destroyed."***

3        Here the word "ma" means "to Me".

Anuccheda 82

1        To show contempt for the diligent pursuit of knowledge the Lord says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.20.30):

          "Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces.  The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when I am seen as the Supreme Personality of Godhead".*

2        The Lord is seen (drste), that is He personally appears before the devotee, by the power of devotional service.

Anuccheda 83

1        There the Lord also says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.20.31):

          "Therefore, for a devotee engaged in My loving service, with mind fixed on Me, the cultivation of knowledge and renunciation is generally not the means of achieving the highest perfection within this world."***

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "In this verse three methods of attaining spiritual realisation are described.  Because devotional service does not depend on any other method, and because other methods depend on devotional service, devotional service is the best.  That is the conclusion of the three verses that begin here.  Here the word  'mad-atmanah' means 'one whose mind is fixed on Me', and 'sreyah' means 'the best method of spiritual realisation'."

3        This verse means that for they who engage in devotional service there is no need for diligent practice of austerities and yoga.  Some follow the path that immediately leads to liberation and others follow a path that gradually leads to liberation.  The Lord describes the path that gradually leads to devotional service (Bhagavad-gita 18.54):

          "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realises the Supreme Brahman.  He never laments or desires to have anything.  He is equally disposed to every living entity.  In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me."*

          In pure love of God, which is the king of the results attained by engaging in devotional service, there is no scope for the cultivation of impersonal knowledge or the following of any other spiritual path.

Anuccheda 84

1        Whatever good results are attained by following the path of jnana and other spiritual paths are also attained by engaging in devotional service.  The Lord confirms this in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.20.32-33):

2-3     "Everything that can be achieved by fruitive activities, penance, knowledge, detachment, mystic yoga, charity, religious duties and all other means of perfecting life is easily achieved by My devotee through loving service unto Me.  If somehow or other My devotee desires promotion to heaven, liberation, or residence in My abode, he easily achieves such benedictions."***

4        Here the Lord says, "Anything (sarvam) that may be attained by other (itaraih) spiritual paths, such as going on pilgrimage to holy places and following religious vows, My devotee (mad-bhaktah) attains (labhate) by engaging in My devotional service (mad-bhakti-yogena).  He attains it easily (anjasa) and without any great effort."  What is the everything (sarvam) mentioned here?  The Lord answers with the words "svargapavargam" (promotion to Svargaloka or liberation).  "Svarga" means "material happiness" and "apavarga" means "the happiness of liberation, which is attained by gradually becoming situated in the platform of pure goodness".  Then the Lord describes a happiness greater than even the happiness of impersonal liberation.  He says "mad-dhama" (My abode), which refers to the realm of Vaikuntha.  Sometimes one's material desires help him attain devotional service.  King Citraketu's desire to attain Svargaloka is an example of that.  How his material desire helped him attain devotional service is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.17.2-3):

5        "Being praised by great sages and saints and by the inhabitants of Siddhaloka and Caranaloka, Citraketu, the most powerful mystic yogi, wandered about enjoying life for millions of years.  With bodily strength and senses free from deterioration, he travelled within the valleys of Sumeru Mountain, which is the place of perfection for various kinds of mystic power.  In those valleys he enjoyed life with the women of Vidyadhara-loka by chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord, Hari."*

6        Shri Sukadeva Gosvami and other devotees desire liberation.  For example, only when Lord Krishna Himself promised that the illusory potency maya would stay far away, was Sukadeva Gosvami willing to leave his mother's womb.  This is described in Shri Brahma-vaivarta Purana.

7        That the desire for liberation may also help one attain devotional service is explained by the Lord Himself (Bhagavad-gita 18.54):

          "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realises the Supreme Brahman.  He never laments or desires to have anything.  He is equally disposed to every living entity.  In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me."*

8        They who desire to attain Vaikunthaloka and there become a personal associated of the Lord and they who with love desire to directly serve the Lord's lotus feet attain their desires.  This is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.15.25) in these words:

          "Persons whose bodily features change in ecstasy and who breathe heavily and perspire due to hearing the glories of the Lord are promoted to the kingdom of God, even though they do not care for meditation and other austerities.  The kingdom of God is above the material universes, and it is desired by Brahma and other demigods."*

Anuccheda 85

1        At the end of the Eleventh Canto the Lord says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.29.22):

          "This process is the supreme intelligence of the intelligent and the cleverness of the most clever, for by following it one can in this very life make use of the temporary and unreal to achieve Me, the eternal reality."***

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "Here the Lord says, 'Devotional service to Me is attained by the proper use of intelligence (buddhi) and cleverness (manisa).  It reveals the eternal reality (satyam and amrtam).  By engaging in devotional service in this birth (iha) a person using the temporary (martyena) and unreal (anrtena) human body, which is subject to death, can attain Me (ma)'.  That is real intelligence and cleverness.  Here 'buddhi' means 'the intelligence, or the power of discrimination and manisa means cleverness".

3        This is described in theses words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.72.21):

          "Many persons, such as Hariscandra, Rantideva, Unchavrtti, Mudgala, Sibi, Bali, and the legendary hunter and pigeon, all attained the permanent world by utilising their temporary assets."***

4        The reason for this is given in the previous description of devotional service.  The verse quoted in the beginning of this section was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Anuccheda 86

1        At the end of Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami's teachings the activities of hearing the Lord's glories are described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.4.40):

          "For a person who is suffering in the fire of countless miseries and who desires to cross the insurmountable ocean of material existence, there is no suitable boat except that of cultivating devotion to the transcendental taste for the narrations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's pastimes."***

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "The words 'na anyah plavah' means that there is no other way to cross.  Therefore, as far as one is able, one should hear the descriptions of the Lord."

          Of all the activities of devotional service hearing about the Lord is the first, because without it is not possible to perform the others.  That is explained  in other chapters of Shrimad Bhagavatam and it is also explained in these words at the conclusion of Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami's teachings (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.5.1):

3        "This Shrimad Bhagavatam has elaborately described in various narrations the Supreme Soul of all that be-the Personality of Godhead, Hari-from whose satisfaction Brahma is born and from whose anger Rudra takes birth."***

4        After saying this, he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.5.13):

          "Beloved King Pariksit, I have narrated to you the topics you originally inquired about-the pastimes of Lord Hari, the Supreme Soul of the universe.  Now, what more do you wish to hear?"*

5        Here, at the end of Sukadeva's teachings, he says that because hearing the previously described pastimes of the Lord is the best of spiritual activities, therefore devotional service, which has that hearing among its activities, is the best of spiritual paths.

          Before that conclusion, however, Sukadeva Gosvami gives a lesson in jnana-yoga.  e says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.5.2):

          "O King, give up the animalistic mentality of thinking, 'I am going to die'.  Unlike the body, you have not taken birth.  There was not a time in the past when you did not exist and you are not about to be destroyed."***

          When this is understood one can have faith in devotional service.  There this teaching is intended to make one steady in devotional service.  To His unalloyed devotees the Supreme Personality of Godhead gives the greatest kind of liberation.  He gives it to them because they have faith in Him and because for that reason they have given up all fear of death.  After hearing the truth of jnana-yoga, King Pariksit had faith in devotional service, as will be described later in the Shrimad Bhagavatam.

6        Actually King Pariksit had faith in Lord Krishna from the very first.  This is seen in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.19.5):

          "Maharaja Pariksit sat down on the banks of the Ganges to concentrate his mind in Krishna consciousness, rejecting all other practices of self-realisation, because transcendental loving service to Krishna is the greatest achievement, superseding all other methods."*

          There it is also said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.19.7):

          "Thus the king, the worthy descendant of the Pandavas, decided once and for all and sat on the Ganges' bank to fast until death ad give himself up to the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, who alone is able to award liberation.  So, freeing himself from all kinds of associations and attachments, he accepted the vows of a sage."*

          Because he had faith in Lord Krishna, King Pariksit became free of fear.  He said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.19.15):

          "O brahmanas, just accept me as a completely surrendered soul, and let mother Ganges, the representative of the Lord, also accept me in that way, for I have already taken the lotus feet of the Lord into my heart.  Let the snake-bird-or whatever magical thing the brahmana created-bite me at once.  I only desire that you all continue singing the deeds of Lord Vishnu."*

          After hearing the truths of jnana-yoga, King Pariksit became firm in his faith toward Lord Krishna.  Then, not considering the three-verse instruction in jnana-yoga to be very important, he engaged in devotional service by hearing about the Lord.  In that way he attained the goal of life.  Then he said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.6.2-4):

7        "I have now achieved the purpose of my life, because a great and merciful soul like you has shown such kindness to me.  You have personally spoken to me this narration of the Supreme Personality of godhead, Hari, who is without beginning or end."***

8        "I do not consider it at all amazing that great souls such as yourself, whose minds are always absorbed in the infallible Personality of Godhead, show mercy to the foolish conditioned souls, tormented as we are by the problems of material life."***

9        "I have heard from you this Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which is the perfect summary of all the Puranas and which perfectly describes the Supreme Lord, Uttamahsloka."***

10      Accepting the spiritual knowledge given by his guru, the king explained why he was not afraid of the serpent Taksaka.  He asked permission to chant the Supreme Lord's holy names, meditate on Him, and dedicate his words and thoughts to Him.  The king said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.6.5-6):

11      "My Lord, I have no fear of Taksaka or any other living being, or even of repeated deaths, because I have absorbed myself in that purely spiritual Absolute Truth, which you have revealed and which destroys all fear."***

12      "O brahmana, please give me permission to resign my speech and the functions of all my senses unto Lord Adhoksaja.  Allow me to absorb my mind, purified of lusty desires, within Him and to thus give up my life."***

13      Then, in another verse, he says, "Now I have the perfections of knowledge, which dispels all ignorance and brings the happiness in the heart that comes from seeing the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."  He says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.6.7):

14      "You have revealed to me that which is most auspicious, the supreme personal feature of the Lord. I am now fixed in knowledge and self-realisation, and my ignorance has been eradicated."***

15      Here the word "pada" means "the lotus feet of the Lord".  In the First Canto it was said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.18.16):

          "O Suta Gosvami, please describe those topics of the Lord by which Maharaja Pariksit, whose intelligence was fixed on liberation, attained the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of Garuda, the king of birds.  Those types were vibrated by the son of Vyasa (Shrila Sukadeva)."*

16      Shrila Suta Gosvami further explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.18.2 and 4):

          "Furthermore, Maharaja Pariksit was always consciously surrendered to the Personality of Godhead, and therefore he was neither afraid nor overwhelmed by fear due to a snake-bird which was to bite because of the fury of a brahmana boy."*

17      "This was so because those who have dedicated their lives to the transcendental topics of the Personality of Godhead of whom the Vedic hymns sing, and who are constantly engaged in remembering the lotus feet of the Lord, do not run the risk of having misconceptions even at the last moment of their lives."*

18      Further explanations are found in the Twelfth Canto Third Chapter and the final chapter of the First Canto.  In the First Canto King Pariksit asked (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.19.37):

          "You are the spiritual master of great saints and devotees.  I am therefore begging you to show the way to perfection for all persons, and especially for one who is about to die."*

19      In answer to the king's question, Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami taught him about meditation on and glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.3.49-51):

20      "Therefore, O King, endeavour with all your might to fix the Supreme Lord Kesava within your heart.  Maintain this concentration upon the Lord, and at the time of death you will certainly attain the supreme destination.***

21      "My dear King, the Personality of Godhead is the ultimate controller.  He is the supreme soul and the supreme shelter of all beings.  When meditated upon by those about to die, He reveals to them their own eternal spiritual identity.***

22      "My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age.  It is that simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom."*

23      In these verses "tatah" means "on Lord Kesava", "avihitah" means "concentrating your thoughts", and "atma-bhavam" means "devotion to the Lord".  Meditating on the Lord is performed with great difficulty.  However, glorifying the Lord is very easily done.  That is the meaning.

24      This is also stated in Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.33-2-3-1:

          "For those who are wandering in the material universe, there is no more auspicious means of deliverance than what is aimed at in the direct devotional service of Lord Krishna.*

          "The great personality Brahma, with great attention and concentration of the mind, studied the Vedas three times, and after scrutinizingly examining them, he ascertained that attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna is the highest perfection of religion.*

          "The Personality of Godhead Lord Shri Krishna is in every living being along with the individual soul.  And this fact is perceived and hypothesised in our acts of seeing and taking help from the intelligence.*

          "O King, it is therefore essential that every living being hear about, glorify and remember the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, always and everywhere.*

          "Those who drink through aural reception, fully filled with the nectarean message of Lord Krishna, the beloved of the devotees, purify the polluted aim of life known as material enjoyment and thus go back to Godhead, to the lotus feet of Him (the Personality of Godhead).*

          "Shri Sukadeva Gosvami said: Maharaja Pariksit, as you have inquired from me as to the duty of the intelligent man who is on the threshold of death, so I have answered you."*

          In this way the conclusion of the scriptures is that one should engage in pure devotional service, which has many different activities.

25      Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.2.37) explains:

          "Those who drink through aural reception, fully filled with the nectarean message of Lord Krishna, the beloved of the devotees,, purify the polluted aim of life known as material enjoyment and thus go back to Godhead, to the lotus feet of Him (the Personality of Godhead)."*

          From this it may be seen that the statement that one should hear the narrations of the Supreme Lord's transcendental pastimes is the final, highest conclusion of the scriptures.

26      It was only to create a situation where faith in devotional service could be manifested that saintly Sukadeva Gosvami said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.5.2):

          "O King, give up the animalistic mentality of thinking, 'I am going to die.'  Unlike the body, you have not taken birth.  There was not a time in the past when you did not exist, and you are not about to be destroyed."***

          For this reason it should be understood that the final conclusion of Sukadeva Gosvami's teachings is that one should engage in devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

27      That King Pariksit's questions were intended to bring replies describing devotional service and nothing else is confirmed in Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.8.3. where the king says:

          "O greatly fortunate Sukadeva Gosvami, please continue narrating Shrimad Bhagavatam so that I can place my mind upon the Supreme Soul, Lord Krishna, and, being completely freed of material qualities, thus relinquish this body."*

28      That one should hear the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the final conclusion of the Vedic scriptures is again confirmed by Shrimad Bhagavatam in these words (12.5.1 and 12.4.40):

          "This Shrimad Bhagavatam has elaborately described in various narrations the Supreme Soul of all that be-the Personality of Godhead, Hari from whose satisfaction Brahma is born and from whose anger Rudra takes birth."***

          "For a person who is suffering in the fire of countless miseries and who desires to cross the insurmountable ocean of material existence, there is no suitable boat except that of cultivating devotion to the transcendental taste for the narrations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's pastimes."***

Anuccheda 87

1        At the end of  his instructions, Shri Suta Gosvami speaks five verses describing devotional service.  In the first of these he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.12.53):

          "Knowledge of self-realisation, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible (God).  What, then, is the use of even the most properly performed fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilised for the devotional service of the Lord?"*

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "This verse explains that devotional service, which begins with hearing the glories of the Lord, is much more important than speculative knowledge (jnana) or fruitive work (karma).  Here 'naiskarmyam' means 'Brahman', 'yaj-jnanam', means 'the path that reveals Brahman', and 'niranjanam' means 'free from material designations'.  If a path is devoid of a conception of God (acyuta-bhava-varjitam) it does not look well (na sobhate).  That means that the Supreme Lord will not become revealed by following such a path."

Anuccheda 88

1        Then he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.12.34):

          "The great endeavour one undergoes in executing the ordinary social and religious duties of the varnasrama system, in performing austerities, and in hearing from the Vedas, culminates only in the achievement of mundane fame and opulence.  but by respecting and attentively hearing the recitation of the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord, the husband of the goddess of fortune, one can remember His lotus feet."***

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "The activities of varnasrama-dharma (varnasramacaradisu) are performed with great (parah) labour (parisramah), but still they bring only material fame (yasah) and opulence (shriyam).  They do not bring the highest goal of life.  The highest goal of life is to attentively hear the transcendental qualities (gunanuvada) of the Supreme Lord, the husband of the goddess of fortune (shridhara), and remember (avismrtih) His lotus feet (pada-padmayoh)."

Anuccheda 89

Then he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.12.55):

          "Remembrance of Lord Krishna's lotus feet destroys everything inauspicious and awards the greatest good fortune.  It purifies the heart and bestows devotion for the Supreme Soul along with knowledge enriched with realisation and renunciation."***

Anuccheda 90

1        Then he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.12.56):

          "O most eminent of brahmanas, you are all indeed extremely fortunate, since you have already placed within your hearts Lord Shri Narayana-the Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller and the ultimate soul of all existence-beyond whom there is no other good.  You have undeviating love for Him, and thus I request you to worship Him."***

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "In these two verses he addresses the hearers.  He says, 'O most eminent of Brahmanas (dvijagryah), please always (sasvat) worship (bhajata) Lord Narayana (shri-narayanam), who has entered (avivesya) your hearts (atmani).'  The verb here is respectfully used in the imperative mood.  The word 'bhuri-bhagah' means that they have performed many pious deeds.  What is the Lord like?  He is the Supersoul present in the hearts of all (akhilatma-bhutam), the Lord who should be worshipped by all (devam), the Supreme Lord beyond whom there is no other god (adevam).  What is He like?  He is the supreme controller (isam).  Therefore 'You (yuyam) who are fortunate (bhuri-bhagah) because you have performed many austerities and other pious deeds, should worship (bhajata) Lord Narayana (narayanam).'"

          Shridhara Svami's intention here is to say that by worshipping Lord Narayana one attains the auspicious result of having performed many austerities and pious deeds.

Anuccheda 91

1        Then he says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.12.57):

          "I have also now been fully reminded of the science of God, which I previously heard from the mouth of the great sage Sukadeva Gosvami.  I was present in the assembly of great sages who heard him speak to King Pariksit as the monarch sat fasting until death."***

2        Here he says "I have been reminded of the Supreme Truth (atma-tattvam), Lord Narayana (narayana) who is present in the hearts of all (akhilatma-bhutam).  Now I yearn to attain Him."  That is the meaning.  He says, "From the mouth of the great sage I (me) heard (srutam) about the Supreme Truth (atma-tattvam)."  These verses were spoken by Shrila Suta Gosvami.

Anuccheda 92

1        In this way, in this beautiful Purana, in the teachings that have come from conversations between guru and disciple, the truth that devotional service is the highest spiritual path described in the Vedic literature is proved.

2        This is seen in the following verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.3.22):

          "Please describe all these incidents if they relate to the topics of Lord Krishna.  The devotees of the Lord are accustomed to licking up the honey available from the lotus feet of the Lord."*

3        In all the Itihasas there are many similar quotations.  Afraid of increasing the volume of this book, I will not quote them all.  In other places they may be seen.

4        Shrimad Bhagavatam (6.3.22) explains:

          "Devotional service, beginning with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is the ultimate religious principle for the living entity in human society."*

5        Here the word "pumsam" means "of the living entities" and "paro dharmah" means "the religion of the entire world".  There is no religion better than this.  Then he describes the nature of this religion (etavan).  He says it is direct devotional service (bhakti-yogah), which begins with chanting of the holy name of the Lord (grahanadibhih).  The word "eva" (indeed) here clearly indicates that it is different from any other kind of religion.  If the activities of devotional service, beginning with chanting the Lord's holy name were meant to attain the same results attained by fruitive work and other similar paths, then devotional service would not be superior.  When one is an offender he will use devotional service to attain these insignificant goals.  That is the meaning.  Therefore devotional service is not meant to give results that are temporary.  This verse was spoken by Shri Yama to his soldiers.

Anuccheda 93

          This is also explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.1.17):

          "The path followed by pure devotee, who are well behaved and fully endowed with the best qualifications, is certainly the most auspicious path in this material world.  It is free from fear, and it is authorised by the sastras."*

          The path here is the path of devotional service to Lord Narayana.  This verse is spoken by Shri Sukadeva Gosvami.

Anuccheda 94

1        That devotional service is the result attained by hearing all Vedic scriptures is explained in these words, which proclaim "How much greater is devotional service!"  (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.13.4):

          "Persons who hear from a spiritual master with great labour and for a long time must hear from the mouths of pure devotees about the character and activities of pure devotees.  Pure devotees always think within their hearts of the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, who awards His devotees liberation."*

2        Here "pumsam srutasya" means "of the understanding of the Vedas", meaning, "arthah" means "what should be done", and "iditah" means "is proclaimed".  What is that?  One should hear (anusravanam) about the character and activities (tat-tad-gunanam) of pure devotees, who (yesam) think within their hearts (hrayesu) of the lotus feet (padaravindam) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who awards liberation (mukundasya).  That is the meaning.

3        This is also described in Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.28:

          "In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Shri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead.  The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him.  Yoga is for realising Him.  All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only.  He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him.  Religion (dharma) is rendering loving service unto Him.  He is the supreme goal of life."*

          Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.34 explains:

          "The great personality Brahma, with great attention and concentration of the mind, studied the Vedas three times, and after scrutinizingly examining them, he ascertained that attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna is the highest perfection of religion."*

4        In the Brhat-sahasra-nama from the Padma Purana it is said:

          "Krishna is the origin of Lord Vishnu.  He should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time.  All the rules and prohibitions mentioned in the sastras should be the servants of these two principles."*

5        In both the Skanda Purana Prabhasa-khanda and the Linga Purana it is said:

          "By scrutinizingly reviewing all the revealed scriptures and judging them again and again, it is now concluded that Lord Narayana is the Supreme Absolute Truth and thus He alone should be worshipped."*

6        The Vedarpana-mantra (3.13) explains:

          "My unborn Lord Vishnu, who is the father of austerities and knowledge and the deliverer from troubles, and for whose sake the knowers of Brahman perform austerities, become dear to me."

Anuccheda 95

1        Devotional service is the incomparable final result obtained by performing the activities of varnasrama-dharma prescribed by the Vedic scriptures.  Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.47.24) explains:

2        "Devotional service unto Lord Krishna is attained by charity, strict vows, austerities and fire sacrifices, by japa, study of Vedic texts, observance of regulative principles and, indeed, by the performance of many other auspicious practices."***

3        The auspicious activities beginning with giving charity, described here should be performed for the satisfaction of Shri Krishna.  That should be understood.  Shrimad Bhagavatam (4.31.9) explains:

          "When a living entity is born to engage in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the supreme controller, his birth, all his fruitive activities, his life-span, his mind and his words are all factually perfect."*

4        In Shri Brhan-naradiya Purana it is said:

          "They who have pure devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the deliverer from troubles, attain pious credits that take many thousands and millions of births to earn in other ways."

5        In the Agastya-samhita it is said:

          "By following vows, fasting, controlling the senses, and performing many sacrifices for many millions of years one attains devotion to Lord Krishna, the husband of the goddess of fortune."

6        The superiority of devotional service is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.8):

          "The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labour if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead."*

          Shrimad Bhagavatam (12.12.54) says:

          "The great endeavour one undergoes in executing the ordinary social and religious duties of the varnasrama system, in performing austerities and in hearing from the Vedas culminates only in the achievement of mundane fame and opulence.  But by respecting and attentively hearing the recitation of the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord, the husband of the goddess of fortune, one can remember His lotus feet."*

          The verse quoted in the beginning of this section was spoken by Shri Uddhava to the goddesses of Vraja.

Anuccheda 96

1        The cultivation of transcendental knowledge is also described in Shrimad Bhagavatam.  By engaging in devotional service one attains transcendental knowledge.  This is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.14.5):

          "O almighty Lord, in the past many yogis in this world achieved the platform of devotional service by offering all their endeavours unto You and faithfully carrying out their prescribed duties.  Through such devotional service, perfected by the processes of hearing and chanting about You, they came to understand You.  O infallible one, one could easily surrender to You and achieve Your supreme abode."*

2        This verse means: "O Lord (bhuman), in this world (iha) many yogis (bahavo pi yoginah), unable to attain transcendental knowledge by practice of yoga, offered (arpita) to You (tvayi) their ordinary prescribed duties (nija-karma) and in that way, by engaging in devotional service (bhaktya), which made them become attracted to hearing about You (kathopanitaya) and thus enabled them to approach You, they easily (anjah) understood (vibudhya) and directly experienced all knowledge, beginning with knowledge of the true nature of the self, and culminating in knowledge of the Personality of Godhead, and in this way they attained the supremely confidential abode (gatim)."

3        In Bhagavad-gita 10.8-11, the Lord revealed the nature of pure devotional service:

          "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds.  Everything emanates from Me.  The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship me with all their hearts.*

          "The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about Me."*

          "Those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.*

4        "To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance."*

Anuccheda 97

1        All other ways to attain other goals of life are also said to have their roots in devotional service.  Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.81.19) explains:

2        "The worship of His feet is the root cause of any person's attainment of heaven of or liberation, of all sorts of prosperity in the subterranean regions or on the earth, or of mystic perfections."*

3        Shrimad Bhagavatam (8.23.16) explains:

          "There may be discrepancies in pronouncing the mantras and observing the regulative principles, and, moreover, there may be discrepancies in regard to time, place, person and paraphernalia.  But when You Lordship's holy name is chanted, everything becomes faultless."*

          Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.5.2-3) again explains:

          "Each of the four social orders, headed by the brahmanas, was born through different combinations of the modes of nature, from the face, arms, thighs and feet of the Supreme Lord in His universal form.  Thus the four spiritual orders were also generated."***

          "If any of the members of the four varnas and four asramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they will fall down from their position into a hellish state of life."***

          In this way it should be understood that one should perform devotional service always and in all ways.  The many things that cannot be attained by external, non-devotional activities, may be attained by engaging in devotional service.

4        Skanda Purana explains:

          "When performed by they who have no devotion for Lord Vishnu, the pious activities described in the Sruti and Smrti bring results that torture the body, results like the sins of prostitutes."

5        Shri Yudhisthira explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.72.4):

          "Purified persons who constantly serve the slippers on Your feet, meditate upon them and glorify them as the destroyers of all inauspiciousness are sure to realise the cessation of material existence, O lotus-naveled one.  Even if they have some desires, they will obtain the fulfilment of these, whereas other person are never satisfied in the pursuit of material desires."***

6        It is said in Brhan-naradiya Purana:

          "As water gives life to everyone, so devotional service gives life to the attainment of desires."

7        The verse quoted in the beginning of this section was spoken by Shridama-viprah.

Anuccheda 98

1        In this way it is shown that devotional service gives life to these various methods by which one attains his desires. Therefore, in all the Vedas it is said that one should perform devotional service.  Also, without even performing any other activities one can simply perform devotional service alone.  This is shown in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.10):

          "A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead."*

2        In Shri Vishnu Purana, Pulaha Muni said:

          "What is not attained when the Supreme Lord, who is the deliverer from evils, who in Vedic yajnas is the Yajna-purusa, and who in yoga is the Supreme Person, is pleased?

3        "Without performing any other activities, a person who takes shelter of Lord Narayana automatically attains the four goals of life."

4        Therefore the result of hearing all the Vedic scriptures is that one comes to understand that he should engage in devotional service to the Lord, who Himself confirms this in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.3):

          "By the influence of time, the transcendental sound of Vedic knowledge was lost at the time of annihilation.  Therefore, when the subsequent creation took place, I spoke the Vedic knowledge to Brahma because I Myself am the religious principles enunciated in the Vedas."***

5        This being so, they who are not very wise worship Lord Vishnu in order to attain the various benefits otherwise attained by the other spiritual processes beginning with karma-yoga.  Because of committing offenses, these people's worship of the Lord brings them only the fulfilment of these desires and nothing more.  In this way one need only engage in devotional service to fulfil these desires.  However, much more than this, devotional service gives, the greatest benefit.  Shrimad Bhagavatam (5.19.27) explains:

6        "The Supreme Personality of Godhead fulfils the material desires of a devotee who approaches Him with such motives, but He does not bestow benedictions upon the devotee that will cause him to demand more benedictions again. However, the Lord willingly gives the devotee shelter at His own lotus feet, even though such a person does not aspire for it, and that shelter satisfies all his desires.  That is the Supreme Personality's special mercy."*

7        This verse means "He certainly (satyam) fulfils the requests (arthitam) of the human beings (nrnam) who ask (arthitah) Him."  He never gives something that will lead one astray.  In that sense He is not always "artha-dah" (the bestower of benedictions).  He only gives benedictions that, once given, the receiver does not return.  That is the meaning.  This means that because of feeling unfulfilled when the happiness obtained in that benediction wanes, the person returns and asks for another benediction.  This is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 9.19.14):

          "As supplying butter to a fire does not diminish the fire but instead increases it more and more, the endeavour to stop lusty desires by continual enjoyment can never be successful.  (In fact one must voluntarily cease from material desires)."*

8        The supremely merciful Lord, understanding this, gives (vidhatte) His lotus feet (nija-pada-pallavam), which satisfy all desires (icchapidhanam), to the devotees (bhajatam) who, because they do not know the sweetness present in His lotus feet, do not desire to attain them (anicchatam).  He is like a mother that takes from her son's mouth the clay he was eating and gives him a candy instead.  That is the meaning.

9        The great power of devotional service is again shown in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.10):

          "A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead."*

10      In Garuda Purana it is said:

          "When someone meditates on Him, Lord Krishna gives, even though unasked, an unattainable rare treasure the mind cannot even comprehend."

11      It should be understood that in this way the knowers of Brahman, who have Sanaka-kumara as their leader, attained the lotus feet by engaging in devotional service.

Anuccheda 99

1        Glorifying devotional service and condemning fruitive work (karma), Shrimad Bhagavatam explains that fruitive work is painful to perform and brings an uncertain result, whereas devotional service is kind to the practitioner, is easily and happily performed, and brings a certain result.  This is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.18.12):

2        "We have just begun the performance of this fruitive activity, a sacrificial fire, without certainty of its results due to the many imperfections in our action.  Our bodies have become black from the smoke, but we are factually pleased by the nectar of the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, Govinda, which you are distributing."*

3        The words "asmin karmani" mean "in this sacrifice" and "anasvase" means :without certainty of result".  The result is uncertain because of the presence of many unknown factors.  The result is uncertain as, for example, it is in agriculture .  However, it is said here that the result of performing devotional service is certain.  The phrase "dhuma-dhumratmanam" means "our bodies and minds have become dirtied by the smoke".  The word here is in the genitive case.  It means "of us".  That is the meaning.

4        Here "pada-padmasavam" means "the nectar of the lotus feet" and "madhu" means "honey".  The two activities here are: 1. the fruitive activity of this sacrifice and 2. devotional service, where there is hearing the glories of the Lord.  The sages here say, "These  non-devotional fruitive activities have made us unhappy".  In this way the superiority of devotional service is established.

5        This is also described in Shrimad Bhagavatam (12.12.54):

          "The great endeavour one undergoes in executing the ordinary social and religious duties of the varnasrama system, in performing austerities, and in hearing from the Vedas culminates only in the achievement of mundane fame and opulence.  But by respecting  and attentively hearing the recitation of the transcendental qualities of the supreme Lord, the husband of the goddess of fortune, one can remember His lotus feet."***

          Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.2.22) again explains:

          "Certainly therefore, since time immemorial, all transcendentalists have been rendering devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, with great delight, because such devotional service is enlivening to the self."*

6        In Brahman-vaivarta Purana Lord Vishnu tells Lord Siva:

          "If the living entities desire to attain Me they should take shelter of Me.  Their hearts polluted by Kali-yuga, the followers of varnasrama waste their lives and everything they possess.  This is not true for they who take shelter of Me.  They do not waste their lives."

          This verse quoted in the beginning of this section was spoken by the sages to Shri Suta Gosvami.

Anuccheda 100

1        This is also explained in Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.17:

          "One who has forsaken his material obligations to engage in the devotional service of the Lord may sometimes fall down while in an immature stage, yet there is no danger of his being unsuccessful.  On the other hand, a non devotee, though fully engaged in occupational duties, does not gain anything."*

2        By performing the activities of karma-yoga (fruitive work) and other spiritual paths like it, which require great effort, great expense and many other things, one attains only pathetically insignificant results, of which the attainment of Svargaloka is the most prominent.  However, by performing the activities of devotional service, which require only slight effort, slight expense, and slight use of any other things, one attains the greatest result.  Therefore the conclusion of the Vedic literatures is that one should perform devotional service.  Many Vedic scriptures declare that one should perform devotional service and therefor the performance of devotional service is never done in vain.  That is the meaning.  Furthermore, Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.9.10) explains:

3        "If a brahmana has all twelve of the brahmanical qualifications (as they are stated in the book called Sanat-sujata) but is not a devotee and is averse to the lotus feet of the Lord, he is certainly lower than a devotee who is a dog eater but who has dedicated everything-mind, words, activities,, wealth, and life-to the Supreme Lord.  Such a devotee is better than such a brahmana because the devotee can purify his whole family, whereas the so-called brahmana in a position of false prestige cannot purify even himself."*

4        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "Lord Hari is satisfied by unalloyed devotional service.  Nothing but devotional service satisfies Him.  That is stated in this verse.

5        "Prahlada Maharaja had previously mentioned the twelve brahmanical qualities, beginning with aristocratic wealth, in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.9.9.):

          "One may possess wealth, an aristocratic family, beauty, austerity, education, sensory expertise, lustre, influence, physical strength, diligence, intelligence and mystic yoga power, but I think that even all these qualifications one cannot satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  However, one can satisfy the Lord simply by devotional service.  Gajendra did this, and thus the Lord was satisfied with him."*

          "Here he says: 'I think (manye) that a dog eater (svapacam) who is a devotee is better (varistham) than a brahmana (viprat) who has these twelve (dvi-sat) qualities."

6        The Sanat-sujata gives this list, which begins with piety, of the twelve brahmanical qualities:

          "Piety, truthfulness, sense control, austerity, non-enviousness, humility, tolerance, aversion to fault finding, performance of sacrifice, giving in charity, patience, scholarship, and observance of vows are the twelve qualities of a brahmana."

7        "What is the brahmana (viprat) mentioned here like?  He is averse (vimukhat) to the lotus feet of the louts-naveled Lord (aravinda-nabha-padaravinda).  What is the dog-eater (svapacam) like?  He has dedicated (arpita) his mind (manah) and everything else to the lotus-naveled Lord.  Here the word 'ihitam' means 'work'.  For this reason this kind of dog-eater is better.  Such a dog-eater purifies (punati) his entire family (kulam).  However (tu), a proud (bhuri-manah) brahmana cannot purify himself, what to speak of his family.  Therefore, for one who does not engage in devotional service these brahmanical qualities only lead to pride.  They do not lead to faith in the Lord."

8        The Muktaphala -tika explains:

          "The twelve (dvi-sad) qualities of a brahmana are given in a list beginning with aristocratic wealth (dhana) and high birth (abhijana), or, an alternate list is also given in these words:

          "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, satisfaction, truthfulness, and religiousness are the twelve qualities of a brahmana."

9        In the Skanda Purana, Narada Muni explains:

          "A person who, although not born in an aristocratic family and unaware of the niceties of refined conduct, controls his senses and engages in unwavering devotional service to the Supreme Lord, is famous and glorious among men.  However, a peaceful, nobly born brahmana, religious and learned in the eighteen sciences, but who does not serve the Lord, is not glorious at all."

10      In the Kasi-khanda it is said:

          "A brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, or sudra engaged in devotional service to Lord Vishnu, is the greatest of persons."

11      In Brhan-naradiya Purana:

          "They who do no devotedly serve Lord Vishnu are outcastes.  Outcastes who serve Him with devotion are the best of men."

12      In the Brhan-naradiya Purana:

          "O King, a dog-eater that is a devotee of Lord Vishnu is greater than a brahmana.  A brahmana that has no devotion for Lord Vishnu is lower than a dog-eater."

13      In the verse quoted in this section it was said that a devotee purifies (punati) his family (kulam).  This proves that he also greatly purifies himself.  Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.4.18) explains:

14      "Kirata, Huna, Andhra, Pulinda, Pulkasa, Abhira, Sumbha, Yavana, members of the Khasa races and even others addicted to sinful acts can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power.  I beg to offer my respectful obeisance unto Him."*

15      This first quote was spoken by Prahlada Maharaja to Lord Nrsimha.

Anuccheda 101

1        The brahmanas engaged in performing sacrifices said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.23.40):

          "To hell with our threefold birth, our vow of celibacy, and out extensive learning!  To hell with out aristocratic background, and our expertise in the rituals of sacrifice!  These are all condemned because we were inimical to the transcendental Personality of Godhead."***

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "The word 'trivrt' refers to three births: 1. initiation, 2. acceptance of the sacred thread, and 3. initiation in the performance of Vedic sacrifices.  The word 'vratam' means 'the vow of celibacy', and the word 'kriya-daksyam' means 'expertise in performing rituals'."

3        Shrimad Bhagavatam (4.31.10) also explains:

          "A civilised human being has three kinds of births.  The first birth is by a pure father and mother and this birth is called birth by semen.  The next birth takes place when one is initiated by the spiritual master, and this birth is called savitra.  The third birth, called yajnika, takes place when one is given the opportunity to worship Lord Vishnu.  Despite the opportunities for attaining such births, even if one gets the life-span of a demigod, if one does not actually engage in the service of the Lord, everything is useless.  Similarly, one's activities may be mundane or spiritual, but they are useless if they are not meant for satisfying the Lord."*

          The verse quoted in the beginning of this section was spoken by the brahmans engaged in performing sacrifices.

Anuccheda 102

1        Even offering to the Lord the fruits of work is not treated with much respect in these words of Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.2.14):

          "Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees."*

2        If one is not able to engage in the direct devotional service of hearing and chanting the Lord's glories he should offer to the Lord the fruits of his work.  The Lord explains this in Bhagavad-gita (12.8-11):

          "Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me.  Thus you will live in Me always without a doubt.*

3        "My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga.  In this way develop a desire to attain Me.*

4        "If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.*

5        "If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of Me, then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated.*

6        In the Padma Purana, Karttika-mahatmya, it is said:

7        "A brahmana named Vishnu dasa competed with the king of Cola-desa.  The brahmana purely worshipped and served the Supreme Lord, and he then attained the Lord.  The king offered many Vedic sacrifices to the Lord, but he did not attain the Lord.  Seeing that the brahmana had attained the Lord, the king renounced his sacrificial activities and said:

8        "I competed with him by performing many sacrifices and giving wealth in charity, and yet it was he, the brahmana that attained a spiritual form like Lord Vishnu and went to the abode of Vaikuntha.

9        "Therefore Lord Vishnu is not pleased by many sacrifices and much giving in charity.  He is pleased by devotional service."

10      "Then he said to Mudgala Muni:

          "Standing before the sacrificial arena, the king loudly called three times: 'Give me eternal engagement, with my mind, words, body and deeds, in devotional service to Lord Vishnu!'"

11      "After saying this, the king humbly and steadily accepted the path of pure devotional service.  Giving up his body at the sacrificial arena, he then attained the Lord."

12      Holding the practice of yoga in low esteem Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.51.60) explains:

          "The minds of non-devotees who engage in such practices as pranayama are not fully cleansed of material desires.  Thus, O king, the material desires are again seen to arise in their minds."***

13      Here the word "utthitam" means "inclined to sense gratification".  The verse quoted in the beginning of this section was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to King Mucukunda.

Anuccheda 103

1        Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.6.35) again explains :

          "It is true that by practicing restraint of the senses by the yoga system one can get relief from the disturbances of desire and lust, but this is not sufficient to give satisfaction to the soul, for this (satisfaction) is derived from devotional service to the Personality of Godhead."*

2        The Lord very eloquently says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.20):

          "My dear Uddhava, neither through astanga-yoga (the mystic yoga system to control the senses), nor through impersonal monism or an analytical study of the Absolute Truth, nor through study of the Vedas, nor through practice of austerities, nor through charity, nor through acceptances of sannyasa can one satisfy Me as much as one can by developing unalloyed devotional service unto Me."*

          The verse quoted in the beginning of this section was spoken by Shri Narada to Shri Vyasa.

Anuccheda 104

1        Now the inferior position of the impersonalists speculative search for knowledge (jnana) will be described.  Because such knowledge is attained only with great difficulty the path of impersonal knowledge is inferior.  This is seen in the following two verses (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.5.45-46):

          "O Lord, persons who, because of their serious attitude, attain the stage of enlightened devotional service achieve the complete meaning of renunciation and knowledge and attain the Vaikunthaloka in the spiritual sky simply by drinking the nectar of Your topics.*

          "Others, who are pacified by means of transcendental self realisation and have conquered over the modes of nature by dint of strong power and knowledge, also enter into You.  But for them there is much pain, whereas the devotee simply discharges devotional service and thus feels no such pain."*

2        In the teaching of the four Kumaras it is said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.22.40):

          "The ocean of nescience is very difficult to cross because it is infested with many dangerous sharks.  Although those who are non-devotees undergo severe austerities and penances to cross that ocean, we recommend that you simply take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, which are like boats for crossing the ocean.  Although the ocean is difficult to cross, by taking shelter of His lotus feet you will overcome all dangers."*

3        Also, in Shri Bhagavad-gita (12.1-5):

          "Arjuna inquired: Which are considered to be more perfect, those who are always properly engaged in Your devotional service or those who worship the impersonally Brahman, the unmanifested?*

4        "The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Those who fix their minds on My personal form and are always engaged in worshipping Me with great and transcendental faith are considered by Me to be most perfect.*

5-6     "But those who fully worship the unmanifested, that which lies beyond the perception of the senses, the all-pervading, inconceivable, unchanging, fixed and immovable-the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth-by controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, at last achieve Me.*

7        "For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome.  To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied."*

8        A person does not become fatigued by following the path of devotional service.  Also, by engaging in devotional service one attains the unprecedented result of brining the Supreme Personality of Godhead under one's control.  This is described in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.14.3):

9        "My dear Lord, those devotees who have thrown away the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth and have therefore abandoned discussing empiric philosophical truths should hear from self-realised devotees about Your holy name, form, pastimes and qualities.  They should completely follow the principles of devotional service and remain free from illicit sex, gambling, intoxication and animal slaughter.  Surrendering themselves fully with body, words, and mind, they can live in any asrama or social status.  Indeed, you are conquered by such persons, although You are always unconquerable."*

10      In this verse "udapasya" means "even doing only slightly", "sthane sthitah" means "staying with the devotees", "san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam" means "the news about You, which is repeatedly spoken by the devotees", "sruti-gatam" means "by associating with the devotees one hears the news of the Lord", "prayasah" means "almost always", and "tanu-van-manobhir namanto ye jivanti" means "worshipping You with their body, words, and mind, they live their lives."  Although they do not do anything more than that, they conquer You, even though You are always unconquerable by others (trilokyam ajito pi jitah).

11      In Shri Nrsimha Purana it is said:

          "By offering Him a fruit, a leaf, a flower, or some water, the devotees easily attain the ancient Supreme Person.  Why would they want to struggle to attain impersonal liberation?"

Anuccheda 105

1        Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.14.4) explains:

          "My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the only auspicious path.  If one gives it up simply for speculative knowledge or the understanding that these living beings are spirit souls and the material world is false, he undergoes a great deal of trouble.  He only gains troublesome and inauspicious activities.  His endeavours are like beating a husk that is already devoid of rice.  One's labour becomes fruitless."*

2        Shridhara Svami comments:

          "This verse means that without devotional service transcendental knowledge does not become perfect.  The word "reyah" here means "material prosperity and liberation", "srtim" means "a path, like the path taken by a swiftly moving mountain stream", "te" means "of You", and "bhaktim udasya" means "having abandoned the best path, which is devotional service."  For these people (tesam) there are indeed (eva) only troubles (klesalah).  This verse means that if one rejects a small amount of rice and instead beat empty husks that have no rice within, he will not get any result.  In the same way, persons who consider devotional service unimportant labour to attain transcendental knowledge (kevala-bodha-labdhaye), but they do not gain any result."

3        Here the words "vibho" and "kevala", which means "O pure one", are in the vocative case.  "Asau" means "the thing being looked at" and "klesalah" means "troublesome because of the need to accept sannyasa and do many other things".

4        These are described in Bhagavad-gita (13.8-11), where the Supreme Personality of Godhead said:

          "Humility, pridelessness, non violence, tolerance, simplicity, approaching a bona fide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadiness, self-control, renunciation of the objects of sense gratification, absence of false ego, the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease, detachment, freedom from entanglement with children, wife, home and the rest, even mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events, constant and unalloyed devotion to Me, aspiring to live in a solitary place, detachment from the general mass of people, accepting the importance of self-realisation, and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth-all these I declare to be knowledge, and besides this whatever there may be is ignorance."*

5        There is no real knowledge without devotional service.  That is the meaning here.  The Lord Himself says (Bhagavad-gita 13.19):

          "Thus the field of activities (the body), knowledge and the knowable have been summarily described by Me.  Only My devotees can understand this thoroughly and thus attain to My nature."*

6        The Lord also says (Bhagavad-gita 9.3):

          "Those who are not faithful in this devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of enemies.  Therefore they return to the path of birth and death in this material world."*

7        In an earlier passage of Bhagavad-gita, the Lord had also described devotional service in these words (Bhagavad-gita 9.14):

          "Always chanting My glories, endeavouring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion."*

          Even though Mudgala and others are not clearly described as having performed devotional service, it should be understood that they performed the beginning activities of devotional service (sadhana-bhakti) at least.

Anuccheda 106

1        The attempt to be independent of the Lord or to take shelter of someone other than the Lord is treated with contempt in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.9.22):

          "Free from all material conceptions of existence and never wonderstruck by anything, the Lord is always jubilant and fully satisfied by His own spiritual perfection.  He has no material designations, and therefore He is steady and unattached.  The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the only shelter of everyone.  Anyone desiring to be protected by  others is certainly a great fool who desires to cross the sea by holding the tail of a dog."*

2        The word "avismitam" means "because there is nothing that He does not already know, the Lord is never surprised by anything."  "Avismitam" may also be interpreted to mean that the Lord is eternally smiling".  "Svenaiva labhena paripurna-kamam" means "by His own activities His desires are fulfilled."  The Lord does not need anyone else to fulfil His desires.  That is the meaning.  "Samam" means "He is equipoised in all circumstances", "prasantam" means "He is peaceful because His heart is free of all impurity", "balisah" means "a fool who is not dear to the Lord", and "atititarti" means "desires to cross".

3        These fools are described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.27):

          "Those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance worship the forefathers, other living beings and the demigods who are in charge of cosmic activities, for they are urged by a desire to be materially benefited with women, wealth, power and progeny."*

4        In Skanda Purana in the conversation of Brahma and Narada, it is said:

          "One who neglects Lord Vasudeva and worships someone else neglects his mother and bows down before a degraded woman."

5        In another place in the Skanda Purana it is also said:

          "One who turns from Lord Vasudeva and worships someone else is a bewildered fool that turns from nectar and drinks the violent poison halahala."

6        In the Mahabharata it is said:

          "One who turns from Lord Vishnu and worships someone else is a person that rejects a pile of gold and takes instead a pile of dust."

7        Shri Satyavrata Muni tells the Lord (Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.24.49):

          "Neither all the demigods, nor the so-called gurus nor all other people, either independently or together, can offer mercy that equals even on ten-thousandth of Yours.  Therefore I wish to take shelter of Your lotus feet."*

8        That both Brahma and Siva are devotees of Lord Vishnu and engage in His devotional service is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam.  About Lord Brahma it is said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.5-9):

          "Lord Brahma, the first spiritual master, supreme in the universe, could not trace out the source of his lotus seat, and while thinking of creating the material world, he could not understand the proper direction for such creative work, nor could he find out the process for such creation."*

          "While thus engaged in thinking, in the water Brahmaji heard twice from nearby two syllables joined together.  One of the syllables was taken from the sixteenth and the other from the twenty first of the sparsa alphabets and joined to become the wealth of the renounced order of life.*

          "When he heard the sound, he tried to find the speaker, searching on all sides.  But when he was unable to find anyone besides himself he thought it wise to sit down on his lotus seat firmly and give his attention to the execution of penance, as he was instructed.*

          "Lord Brahma underwent penances for one thousand years by the calculations of the demigods.  He heard this transcendental vibration from the sky, and he accepted it as divine.  Thus he controlled his mind and senses, and the penances he executed were a great lesson for the living entities.  Thus he is known as the greatest of ascetics.*

          "The Personality of Godhead, being thus very much satisfied with the penance of Lord Brahma, was pleased to manifest His personal abode, Vaikuntha, the supreme planet above all others.  This transcendental abode of the Lord is adored by all self-realised persons freed from all kinds of miseries and fear of illusory existence."*

          Lord Siva is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.13.16):

          "As the Ganges is the best of rivers, infallible Lord Krishna is the best of deities and Siva is the best of the worshippers of Lord Vishnu, so Shrimad Bhagavatam is the best of Puranas."

9        This is also described in the Twelfth Canto, where Markandeya Muni says to Lord Siva (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.10.34):

          "But I do request one benediction from you, who are full of all perfection and able to shower down the fulfilment of all desires.  I ask to have unfailing devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead and for His dedicated devotees, especially you."***

10      The words "tatha tvayi" here show that Siva is a great devotee of Lord Vishnu.  That is the meaning.

          In the Eight Canto the Prajapatis pray to Siva (Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.7.33):

          "Exalted, self-satisfied persons who preach to the entire world think of your lotus feet constantly within their hearts.  However, when person who do not know your austerity see you moving with Uma, they misunderstand you to be lusty, or when they see you wandering in the crematorium they mistakenly think that you are ferocious and envious.  Certainly they are shameless.  They can not understand your activities."*

11      In the Fourth Canto the Pracetas say to eight-armed Lord Vishnu (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.30.38):

          "Dear Lord, by virtue of a moment's association with Lord Siva, who is very dear to You and who is Your most intimate friend, we were fortunate to attain You.  You are the most expert physician, capable of treating the incurable disease of material existence.  On account of our great fortune, we have been able to take shelter at Your lotus feet."*

12      A person who thinks Lord Vishnu is equal to other deities cannot attain devotional service.  That idea is a great impediment to devotional service.  This is explained in the Vaishnava Tantra:

13      "Although he may meditate on the Lord with unbroken thoughts, the dull-witted person who thinks Lord Vishnu equal to other deities does not attain unalloyed devotional service to Lord Hari.

14      "One who thinks the demigods headed by Brahma and Siva are equal to Lord Narayana is a great offender to the Lord."

15      The impersonalists and the devotees in santa-rasa think other deities are equal to Lord Narayana.  An example of this is given in the story of Markandeya Muni, where Siva says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.10.20-22):

16-17  "The inhabitants and ruling demigods of all planets, along with Lord Brahma, the Supreme Lord Hari, and I, glorify, worship and assist those brahmanas who are saintly, always peaceful, free of material attachment, compassionate to all living beings, purely devoted to us, devoid of hatred and endowed with equal vision."*

18      "These devotees do not differentiate between Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and me, nor do they differentiate between themselves and other living beings.  Therefore, because you are this kind of saintly devotee, we worship you."*

19      The meaning may also be interpreted: "We worship (imahi) you (yusman), the pure devotees headed by Markandeya".

20      "You are all devotees of the Lord, and as such I appreciate that you are as respectable as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.  I know in this way that the devotees also respect me and that I am dear to them.  Thus no one can be as dear to the devotees as I am."*

21      In another passage it is said (by Lord Siva in Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.7.40):

          "My dear gentle wife Bhavani, when one performs benevolent activities for others, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is very pleased.  And when the Lord is pleased, I am also pleased, along with all other loving creatures.  Therefore, let me drink this poison, for all living entities may thus become happy because of me."*

22      That Markandeya Muni is a pure devotee of the Lord had been previously described in these words (of Lord Siva in Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.10.6):

          "Surely this saintly brahmana does not desire any benediction, not even liberation itself, for he has attained pure devotional service unto the inexhaustible Personality of Godhead."***

23      This verse was spoken by Lord Siva to Markandeya Muni.  By appearing before him, Lord Siva broke the meditative trance of Markandeya Muni.  In this way he appeared before the sage.

24      This is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam (12.10.13):

          "Shri Markandeya saw Lord Siva suddenly appear within his heart.  Lord Siva's golden hair resembled lightning, and he had three eyes, ten arms and a tall body that shone like the rising sun.  He wore a tiger skin, and he carried a trident, a bow, arrows, a sword and a shield, along with prayer beads, a damaru drum, a skull and an ax.  Astonished, the sage came out of his trance and thought, 'Who is this, and where has he come from?'"***

25      At first describing the idea of the equality of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, and then affirming Lord Vishnu's superiority, Siva says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.10.20-21):

          "The inhabitants and ruling demigods of all planets, along with Lord Brahma, Lord Hari, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, and I, glorify, worship and assist those brahmanas who are saintly, always peaceful, free of material attachment, compassionate to all living beings, purely devoted to us, devoid of hatred and endowed with equal vision."

26      That Lord Vishnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.24-26):

          "Firewood is a transformation of earth, but smoke is better than the raw wood.  And fire is still better, for by fire we can derive the benefits of superior knowledge (through Vedic sacrifices).  Similarly, passion (rajas) is better than ignorance (tamas), but goodness (sattva) is best because by goodness one can come to realise the Absolute Truth.*

          "Previously all the great sages rendered service to the Personality of Godhead due to His existence above the three modes of material nature.  They worshipped Him to become free from material conditions and thus derive the ultimate benefit.  Whoever follows such great authorities is also eligible for liberation from the material world.*

          "Those who are serious about liberation are certainly non-envious and they respect all.  Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Vishnu and His plenary portions."*

27      This is confirmed by Lord Siva in the Brahma Purana:

          "A person who yearns to see me or to see grandfather Brahma should yearn to see all-powerful Lord Vasudeva."

28      This is so because by understanding Lord Vishnu everything is understood.  This is also confirmed in these words of Sarvabhauma, who was initiated by Cintamani:

29      "I have given my heart to Krishna, who wears a garland of forest flowers.  I have not given it in the same way to Lord Siva, who wears a garland of skulls.  I am like a peacock that rejoices when a dark cloud comes but does not rejoice when the clouds are white.

30      The demigods are lakes, the demigoddesses rivers, and Lord Vishnu, the master of the universes, is an ocean.  Still, only the dark cloud of Lord Krishna can remove the thirst of this cintamani cataka bird."

31      Therefore, because He is a Vaishnava, Lord Siva should be worshipped.  Some Vaishnavas say that if the worship of Lord Siva is compulsory, still one can worship the Supreme Lord Vishnu instead of Lord Siva.  That is described in the following story from the last part of the Vishnu-dharma Purana:

          A pure devotee brahmana names Visvaksena used to live on the earth.  One day he sat down at the edge of a forest.  Then the son of a village leader approached him and said, "Who are you?"  When the brahmana had told his story the leader's son said to him, "Today I have a headache and therefore it is not possible for me to worship Lord Siva.  You please worship him in my place.  At that point there is the following passage of one and a half verses:

32      "When this was said, he replied, 'We are pure devotees of Lord Hari.  Only Lord Hari, who expands in four forms, or His devotee, should be worshipped.  We will worship no one else.  Go away."

33      Then the leader's son took a sword and raised it to cut off the brahmana's head.  Stunned and not wishing to die in that way, the brahmana thought for a moment and said, "Very well, I will go there."  In his mind the brahmana thought, "Because he destroys the universe and expands the mode of ignorance, Lord Siva is the deity of ignorance.  However, because Lord Nrsimhadeva kills the demons situated in the darkness of ignorance, and because He thus dispels the darkness of ignorance, Lord Nrsimhadeva is like a sun risen to dispel the darkness of ignorance.  Therefore, instead of worshipping Lord Siva, I will worship Lord Nrsimhadeva to dispel ignorance."

          Then, taking a handful of flowers, the brahmana said, "Obeisances to Lord Nrsimha!"  Filled with anger, the village leader's son at once raised his sword.  At that moment the Siva-linga opened and Lord Nrsimhadeva appeared and killed the village leader's son and his associates.  This Siva-linga, famous by the name "Linga-sphota" (the linga that opened), is situated in the southern provinces.

34      The pure Vaishnavas give all honour to Lord Siva because he is a pure Vaishnava also.  Sometimes some people become Vaishnavas by worshipping Lord Siva.  This is explained in the Adi-varaha Purana:

35      By worshipping Lord Siva for many thousands of births a person become wise and free from all sins.  Then he becomes a Vaishnava."

36      Between the devotees of Lord Nrsimha and Lord Siva there is a very close connection.  This is described in Shri Nrsimha-tapani Upanisad (1.5.10):

          "A hundred brahmacaris equal one grhastha.  A hundred grhasthas equal one vanaprastha.  A hundred vanaprasthas equal one sannyasi.  A hundred sannyasis equal one chanter of Siva-mantras.  A hundred chanters of Siva-mantras equal one teacher of the Atharva-angirasa part of the Vedas.  A hundred teachers of the Atharva-angirasa part of the Vedas equal one chanter of the king of mantras."

          The "king of mantras" here is the mantra glorifying Lord Nrsimhadeva.

37      Because the devotees of Lord Siva thought Lord Siva is independent of Lord Vishnu, Bhrgu Muni's curse could not be overcome.  This is explained in these words of the Fourth Canto (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.2.27-28):

38-39  "When all the hereditary brahmanas were thus cursed by Nandisvara, the sage Bhrgu, as a reaction, condemned the followers of Lord Siva with this very strong brahmanical curse.  One who takes a vow to satisfy Lord Siva or who follows such principles will certainly become an atheist and be diverted from transcendental scriptural injunctions."*

40      The methods of worshipping Lord Siva is described in the Vedas are proper, but the methods of Siva-worship described in other, non-Vedic, books are offensive and not proper.  Shrimad Bhagavatam and other books that oppose these non-Vedic books are authorised Vedic scriptures.  The Suta-samhita and similar books that support the non-Vedic scriptures are not authorised scriptures.  Therefore the fault (of Lord Siva's followers in this verse) is that they thought Lord Siva is the Supreme Personality of Godhead independent of Lord Vishnu.  It is Lord Vishnu who is the root from which the Vedic scriptures have grown.  That is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.2.31):

41      "The Vedas give the eternal regulative principles for auspicious advancement in human civilisation which have been rigidly followed in the past.  The strong evidence of this principle is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is called Janardana, the well-wisher of all living entities."*

42      In this verse the word "yat-pramanan" means that Lord Vishnu is the root of the Vedas.  Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.23-26 also confirms the importance of devotional service to Lord Vishnu.

43      This is also described in the Hari-vamsa, where Lord Siva says:

          "O brahmanas learned in the transcendental scriptures, you should always meditate on Lord Hari.  Always recite the mantras glorifying Lord Vishnu and always meditate on Lord Kesava."

44      Devotion to Lord Siva has that nature.  The Vaishnava scriptures describe the methods of worshipping transcendental Deities beyond the material nature with a method of worship that is also beyond the coverings of the external material world.  The Lord's associates, who manifest humanlike pastimes as the Lord also does, perform Vedic sacrifices and other kinds of worship only to please the Lord.  In this way King Yudhisthira performed the rajasuya sacrifice and other devotees also performed other similar activities.  It should be understood that the demigods worshipped in these rituals are worshipped as representatives of the Lord's great potencies.  This is explained by Prahlada Maharaja in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.10.32):

45      "Prahlada Maharaja then worshipped and offered prayers to all the demigods, such as Brahma, Siva and the Prajapatis, who are all parts of the Lord."*

46      Shri Yudhisthira said to the Lord (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.72.3):

          "O Govinda, I wish to worship Your holy expansions by the Rajasuya sacrifice, the king of Vedic performances.  Please grant that we may do this, my Lord."***

47      The demigods are therefore manifested by the Lord's potencies.  In the Padma Purana, Karttika-mahatmya, the Lord Himself explained this to Shri Satyabhama:

48      "The worshippers of Surya, Siva, Ganesa, Vishnu, and Sakti eventually attain Me as rivers attain the ocean.

49      "Although I am one I appear in five ways.  As a person named Devadatta may by the son of someone and have other relationships with other people and this way manifest different features and names in different circumstances, so I appear with different names and pastimes."

50      In truth, the Vaishnavas are the best of all.  This is explained in the following verse, which appears in the Skanda Purana in the conversation between Narada and Brahma, and also in the Prahlada-samhita in the description of keeping a vigil during ekadashi:

51      "Neither a devotee of Surya, a devotee of Siva, a devotee of Brahma, a devotee of Sakti, nor a devotee of any other demigod is equal to a devotee of Vishnu."

52      The devotees of Surya and the devotees of other demigods do not attain the Supreme Personality of Godhead by worshipping the demigods.  Only when they perform pure devotional service, done only to please the Lord, or when they die in a place sacred to the Lord, do they attain Him.  In narrating the story of Devasarma and Canmdrasarma, who both worshipped the demigod Surya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead described this when He said:

53      "Because of the spiritual power of living in My holy place, and because of their pious conduct, these two devotees of Mine were brought by My associates to Lord Vishnu's transcendental abode.

54      "As long as they lived they worshipped the demigod Surya and performed many pious deeds.  I became very pleased with their actions."

55      The holy place here is Mayapuri.  When the Lord descended to the world these two devotees became Satrajit and Akrura.  In the same way the devotee named Pundarika also attain the Lord by worshipping the Pitas.

56      That only by devotional service, which is not dependent on any other spiritual practice, one attains the Lord, is proved in the Lord's own words in Bhagavad-gita (9.23-25):

57      "Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way.*

58      "I am the only enjoyer and master of all sacrifices.  Therefore, those who do not recognise My true transcendental nature fall down.*

59      "Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods, those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors, those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings, and those who worship Me will live with Me."*

60      By worshipping Lord Vishnu one attains all virtues and shuns faults, which begin with blasphemy.  This is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.3.26):

          "One should have firm faith that he will achieve success in life by following those scriptures that describe the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan.  At the same time, one should avoid blaspheming other scriptures.  One should rigidly control his mind, speech and bodily activities, always speak the truth and bring the mind and senses under full control."***

61      This is also explained in the Padma Purana:

          "All the great demigods should always worship Lord Hari.  They should never disrespect Brahma, Siva or the other great souls."

62      In the Gautamiya Tantra also:

          "A person who worships Lord Gopala but disrespects other dieties kills the present and previous pious credits he has earned."

63      The proper atonement for that offense is recitation of the following prayer from the Narayana-kavaca (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.8.17):

          "Hayasirsa mam pathi deva-helanat" (May Lord Hayagriva protect me from being an offender by neglecting to offer respectful obeisances to the Supreme Lord and the demigods).

64      In the Vishnu-dharma Purana the following story is recounted:  In ancient times King Ambarisa worshipped the Lord by performing austerities for many days.  At the conclusion of his austerities the Supreme Personality of Godhead, assuming the form of King Indra and riding on Garuda, who had been transformed into Airavata, appeared before him and offered him a benediction.  Seeing the form of Indra, King Ambarisa bowed before Him and offered Him all respect.  However, he did not wish any benediction from King Indra.  He said, "The Lord whom I worship will give me benedictions.  I will not accept benedictions from any one else.  Then Indra said, "Whatever benediction He can give I can give also".  When King Ambarisa still did not wish any benediction, Indra raised his thunder-bolt weapon to strike him, but still King Ambarisa would not accept any benediction from Him.  At that moment the Lord became pleased.  No longer appearing as Indra, the Supreme Person now showed His real form and gave His mercy to King Ambarisa.

65      An insult to Lord Siva is a great sin.  This is described in the Fourth Canto (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.2.24) where Nandisvara offers the following curse:

          "Those who have become as dull as matter by cultivating materialistic education and intelligence are nesciently involved in fruitive activities.  Such men have purposely insulted Lord Siva.  May they continue in the cycle of repeated birth and death."*

66      Svayambhuva Manu said to Dhruva Maharaja (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.11.33):

          "My dear Dhruva, you thought that the Yaksas killed your brother, and therefore you have killed great numbers of them.  But by this action you have agitated the mind of Lord Siva's brother Kuvera, who is the treasurer of the demigods.  Please note that your actions have been very disrespectful to Kuvera and Lord Siva."*

          After this, considering that Kuvera was Lord Siva's friend, Dhruva asked from him the benediction of always and in all circumstances being a pure devotee of Lord Vishnu.  The meaning here is that a devotee only asks for the benediction of serving the Lord.

67      In the Kurma Purana the Lord says:

          "A person who always worships Me with unalloyed love but also insults Lord Siva goes to hell."

68      This is also seen in the story of King Citraketu.

69      Lord Kapiladeva criticised disrespect toward even ordinary living entities, what to speak of disrespect to great souls like Himself.  He said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.21):

70      "I am present in every living entity as the Supersoul.  If someone neglects or disregards that Supersoul everywhere and engages himself in the worship of the Deity in the temple, that is simply imitation."*

71      Here the word "bhutesu" means "the living entities, down even to the forms of life that do not even breathe, in whom the Supreme Lord appears as the Supersoul, and who will be described in the following verses", "bhutatma" means "the Supersoul in the heart", "tam mam avajnaya" means "by disrespecting the living entities one also disrespects Me, who am staying in their hearts", "kurute arca" means "worship of My form as the deity", and "vidambanam" means "a mocking imitation".  That is the meaning.  Lord Kapiladeva then says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.22):

72      "One who worships the Deity of Godhead in the temples but does not know the Supreme Lord as Paramatma, is situated in every living entity's heart, must be in ignorance and is compared to one who offers oblations into ashes."*

73      Here the word "maudhyat" means "out of the mistaken idea that the Deity is made of stone or wood", "sarva-bhutesu isvaram mama hitva" means "not understanding that I am the Supersoul in all beings", and "arcam kurute" means "worships My Deity form".  Such a person offers Me water and other things thinking I am an ordinary person and My Deity form is made of matter.

          In the Agni Purana, in his lament for his dead son, King Dasaratha says:

74-75  "Did I think Lord Hari's Deity form was made of stone?  In My heart did I fail to offer respect when I saw on the road a Vaishnava decorated with the signs of the Lord?  Is that why, as a result of my misdeeds, I now suffer for the loss of my son?"

76      This is also described in the Padma Purana:

          "One who thinks the Deity form of Lord Vishnu is made of stone, the spiritual masters are ordinary men, a Vaishnava belongs to a particular caste by birth, the water that has washed the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu or the Vaishnavas and that destroys the sins of Kali-yuga is ordinary water, the mantra of Lord Vishnu's holy name, which destroys all sins, is an ordinary sound, and Lord Vishnu is another demigod like the others, already lives in hell."

77      The verse quoted in text 72 means that the Supreme Lord says: "A fool, not seeing My presence within, does not respect all living entities.  Because of this defect his spiritual activities are like offering oblations into ashes.  Such a faithless person does not get any good result for his efforts."  That is the meaning.

78      In Bhagavad-gita (17.1-3) this is explained:

          "Arjuna inquired: O Krishna, what is the situation of those who do not follow the principles of scripture but worship according to their own imagination?  Are they in goodness, in passion or in ignorance?*

          "The Supreme Lord said: According to the modes of nature acquired by the embodied soul, one's faith can be of three kinds - goodness, passion or ignorance.  Now hear about these.*

          "According to one's existence under the various modes of nature, one evolves a particular kind of faith.  The living being is said to be of a particular faith according to the modes he has acquired."*

          In this way one who has only the small faith possessed by ordinary people is considered a neophyte devotee.  This kind of devotee is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.41):

79      "A devotee who faithfully engages in the worship of the Deity in the temple but does not behave properly toward other devotees or people in general is called a prakrta-bhakta, a materialistic devotee, and is considered to be in the lowest position."***

80      Such a neophyte devotee will eventually get the result of his devotional service, but he will not get it immediately.  This will be explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.25):

          "Performing his prescribed duties, one should worship the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead until one realises My presence in his own heart and in the hearts of other living entities as well."*

81      In these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.23) the Lord describes the result obtained by they who offend others:

          "One who offers Me respect but is envious of the bodies of others and is therefore a separatist never attains peace of mind, because of his inimical behaviour towards other living entities."*

82      Here the word "bhinna-darsinah" means "a person who sees the Supersoul present everywhere and in everyone's heart".  The opposite of him is called "abhinna-darsi", which means a person who sees Shri Krishna, the supremely glorious son of Vraja's king, present everywhere.  That is the meaning.  The former kind of person is described by the words "maninah" (respectful to the Supreme Lord) and "baddha-vairasya" (inimical to other living entities).

83      Lord Krishna at once gives His mercy to a person who does not trouble others and who is kind to them as a father is to his son."

84      Lord Kapiladeva again explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.24):

          "My dear Mother, even if he worships with proper rituals and paraphernalisa, a person who is ignorant of My presence in all living entities never pleases Me by the worship of My Deities in the temple."*

85      In this verse the word "avamaniah" means "disrespectful".  It is like the word "dvisatah (inimical) used (in Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.23, which was quoted in text 81).

86      It is also said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.23.3):

          "Sharp arrows which pierce one's chest and reach the heart do not cause as much suffering as the arrows of harsh, insulting words that become lodged within the heart when spoken by uncivilised men."*

87      In this quote it is said that one thing is worse than the other.  It is not the opposite.  The violence here is not the same as the violence (dvisatah) mentioned previously (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.23, quoted in text 81).

88      In these verses the fault of not having faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of ignorance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described.  In the following verse Lord Kapiladeva affirms that Deity worship performed according to one's own prescribed duties by a person who understands the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and because of that knowledge has faith in Him does not go in vain.  He says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.25):

89      "Performing his prescribed duties, one should worship the Deity of The Supreme Personality of Godhead until one realises My presence in his own heart and in the hearts of other living entities as well."*

90      This verse means: "Performing his prescribed duties (sva-karma-krt), one should worship (arcayet) the Deity (arcadau) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as long as (tavat) one does not (na) realise (veda) My presence (mam) in the hearts of all living entities (sarva-bhutesu)."  This activity (of Deity worship) is helpful for a person who, because he has not attained pure devotional service, does not have full faith in the Lord.

91      This will also be confirmed in the following words spoken by the Lord Himself (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.20.27-28):

          "Having awakened faith in the narrations of My glories, being disgusted with all material activities, knowing that all sense gratification leads to misery, but still being unable to renounce all sense enjoyment, My devotee should remain happy and worship me with great faith and conviction.  Even though he is sometimes engaged in sense enjoyment, My devotee knows that all sense gratification leads to a miserable result, and he sincerely repents such activities.***

          "When an intelligent person engages constantly in worshipping Me through loving devotional service as described by Me, his heart becomes fully situated in Me.  Thus all material desires within the heart are destroyed.***

          "The knot in the heart is pierced, all misgivings are cut to pieces and the chain of fruitive actions is terminated when I am seen as the Supreme Personality of Godhead."***

92      Therefore full faith in the Lord is higher than mere knowledge of the Lord.  A faithful person who performs his prescribed duties need not worship the Deity or perform similar activities.  However, until one comes to that stage one should faithfully worship the Deity and perform similar activities.

93      This will also be proved in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.20.9):

          "As long as one is not satiated by fruitive activity and has not awakened his taste for devotional service by sravanam kirtanam visno, one has to act according to the regulative principles of the Vedic injunctions.***

          The meaning here is that one should not abandon Deity worship.

94      This is so because the Hayasirsa-pancaratra forbids the abandonment of Deity worship:

          "As long as one lives he should not abandon Deity worship, but should continue to worship the Deity.  One should continue until he gives up his life or until his head is severed.

95      A person who, although performing his prescribed duties and worshipping the Deity, is not kind to other living entities, does not attain perfection.  The Lord confirms this (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.26):

96      "As the blazing fire of death, I cause great fear to whoever makes the least discrimination between himself and other living entities because of a differential outlook."*

97      In this verse the Lord says: "A person who makes distinctions (antarodaram karoti) between himself and others does not see that I have made all living entities to be equals.  Seeing hunger and other needs, he fills only his own belly.  As death (mrtyuh) I cause the great (ulbanam) fear (bhayam) that is residence in the material world of birth and death to such a person, who sees a difference between himself and others (bhinna-drsah)".

98      The Lord then explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.27):

          "Therefore, through charitable gifts and attention, as well as through friendly behaviour and by viewing all to be alike, one should propitiate Me, who abide in all creatures as their very Self."*

99      In this verse the word "atha" means "for this reason", "dana-manabhyam" means "by giving charity as far as one is able, or in the absence of giving charity by showing respect". The words "abhinna-caksusa" have already been explained.

          The Lord of Vaikuntha tells the sages headed by Sanaka Kumara (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.16.10):

100     The brahmanas, the cows and the defenceless creatures are My own body.  Those whose faculty of judgement has been impaired by their own sin look upon these as distinct from Me.  They are just like furious serpents, and they are angrily torn apart by the bills of the vulturelike messengers of Yamaraja, the superintendent of sinful persons."*

101     The vision of seeing the living entities as different, where one sees some as superior and some as the best of all, is described in a general way in the following words, where Lord Kapiladeva says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.28-33):

102     "Living entities are superior to inanimate objects, O blessed mother, and among them, living entities who display life symptoms are better.  Animals with developed consciousness are better than them, and better still are those who have developed sense perception.*

103     "Among the living entities who have developed sense perception, those who have developed the sense of taste are better than those who have developed only the sense of touch.  Better than them are those who have developed the sense of smell, and better still are those who have developed the sense of hearing.*

104     "Better than those living entities who can perceive sound are those who can distinguish between one form and another.  Better than them are those who have developed upper and lower sets of teeth, and better still  are those who have many legs.  Better than them are the quadrupeds, and better still are the human beings.

105     "Among the human beings, the society which is divided according to quality and work is best, and in that society, the intelligent men, who are designated as brahmanas, are best.  Among the brahmanas, one who has studied the Vedas is the best, and among the brahmanas who have studied the Vedas, one who knows the actual purport of Veda is the best.*

106     "Better than the brahmana who knows the purpose of the Vedas is he who can dissipate all doubts, and better than him is one who strictly follows the brahmanical principles.  Better than him is one who is liberated from all material contamination, and better than him is a pure devotee, who executes devotional service without expectation of reward.*

107     "Therefore I do not find a greater person than he who has no interest outside of Mine and who therefore engages and dedicates all his activities and all his life-everything-unto Me without cessation."*

108     These verses show the hierarchy of living entities, each group better than the previous one.  Here the word "adogdha dharman" means "a person who acts without material desires", "nirantarah" means "devotional service that is not mixed with impersonal knowledge or any other thing", "akartuh" means "devotional service where one surrenders to the Lord and does not work for one's own maintenance."  In that condition, because one is free of false pride, he understands that he is completely dependent on the Lord.  "Sama-darsanat" means "he thinks of the welfare of others because he knows that the Lord has created all living entities to be equal."  The verses quoted in this passage (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.33) describe the distinctions between different kinds of living entities.  The conclusion is that the Lord says: "one must offer great respect to My devotees, and to others one must also offer respects as it is appropriate and as one is able".  That is the meaning.

109     Then Lord Kapiladeva explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.34):

          "Such a perfect devotee offers respects to every living entity because he is under the firm conviction that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has entered the body of every living entity as the Supersoul or controller."*

110     The word "jiva-kalaya" here means "the Supersoul, who is present in the hearts of all living entities".  Here the following statement of the Lord in Bhagavad-gita (9.29) should be remembered:

          "I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone.  I am equal to all.  But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him."*

          In this way the neophyte devotees should respect all living entities, and the advanced devotees, who have full faith in the Lord, should see the Lord present everywhere.

111     This is also described in the Skanda Purana in these words:

          "O hunter, good qualities like non violence, which have developed, are not very astonishing, for those who are engaged in the Lord's devotional service are never inclined to give pain to others because of envy."*

112     As will be explained later, the pure devotees, by following the example of the perfect residents of Gokula, attain the same virtues as the Lord.  In this way they naturally become both renounced and non violent.  This is described in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.18.22):

113     "Self-controlled persons who are attached to the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna can all of a sudden give up the world of material attachment, including the gross body and subtle mind, and go away to attain the highest perfection of the renounced order of life, by which non violence and renunciation are consequential."*

114     The perfect devotees are described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.45):

          "The most advanced devotees sees within everything the soul of all souls, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna.  Consequently he sees everything in relation to the Supreme Lord and understands that everything that exists is eternally situated within the Lord."***

115     The devotees aspiring to become perfect are described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.31.14-15):

          "As pouring water on the root of a tree energises the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality."*

          In this way the worship of the various demigods and the worship of the independent Supreme Personality of Godhead are described.

116     In this way the worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original creator, is described.  In these words it is proved that the worship of the Lord is unavoidable and must be performed.  In other places in the scriptures it is also explained that in order to become free from material attraction and aversion one should worship the Lord.

          Out of pure compassion for a living entity Bharata Maharaja abandoned his devotional service to the Lord.  In that way compassion became an obstacle to his devotional service.  By that example the idea that compassion for the living entities, and not the worship and service of the Lord, is the most important thing, is refuted.

          Therefore one should always engage in those activities that are favourable for pure devotional service, which is beyond the material modes.  This is explained in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.15):

          "A devotee must execute his prescribed duties, which are glorious, without material profit.  Without excessive violence, one should regularly perform one's devotional activities."*

117     Here the word "ati" (without excessive violence) means that in performing kriya-yoga devotional service according to the regulations of the Pancaratras there may sometimes be some violence, as for example when one picks leaves or flowers.

          One should not disrespect other deities, but rather one should honour them became of their relationship with the Supreme Lord.  Worship of the demigods as if they were independent of the Supreme Lord is eloquently and vehemently rejected in these words:

          "Free from all material conceptions of existence, and never wonderstruck by anything, the Lord is always jubilant and fully satisfied by His own spiritual perfection.  He has no material designations and therefore He is steady and unattached.  The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the only shelter of everyone.  Anyone desiring to be protected by others is certainly a great fool who desires to cross the sea by holding the tail of a dog."*

118     The verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.9.22( quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by the demigods to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Anuccheda 107        

1        This is also confirmed by these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.48.26):

          "What learned person would approach anyone but You for shelter, when You are the affectionate, grateful and truthful well wisher of Your devotees?  To those who worship You in sincere friendship You reward everything they desire, even Your own self, yet You never increase or diminish."***

2        Here the word "suhrdah" means "because You act for the welfare", "krtajnt" means "because You respond with great honour to even the slightest assistance", "bhajataj" means "engaged in devotional service", "sarvan kaman" means "all desires", and :abhi dadati" means "completely gives".  To please Your friends (suhrdah) You give (dadati) even Yourself  (atmanam) to them.  Even though You thus give everything to many great devotees like this, still You never diminish.  That is the meaning of the word  "upacaya".

          This verse was spoken by Akrura to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Anuccheda 108

1        The non devotees are criticised in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.15.24):

          "My dear demigods, the human form of life is of such importance that we also desire to have such life, for in the human form one can attain perfect religious truth and knowledge.  If one in this human form of life does not understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Hs abode, it is to be understood that he is very much affected by the influence of external nature."*

2        Here the word "yatra" means "in that human form of life", "dharmah" means "religious principles that culminate in devotional service to the Lord", "tattvasya jnanam" means "knowledge that culminates in knowledge of the Lord", "ye naradhanam bhagavato vitaranti" means "they whom do not engage in the Lord's devotional service, which is the root from which all pious activities and transcendental knowledge have grown", and "te sammohitah" means "they are bewildered".

          This is also described in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.3.20):

          "One who has not listened to the messages about the prowess and marvellous acts of the Personality of Godhead and has not sung or chanted loudly the worthy songs about the Lord is to be considered to possess earholes like the holes of snakes and a tongue like the tongue of a frog."*

3        This is also described in the Brahma-vaivarta Purana:

          "They who attain the universally desired and very rare human birth, but do not take shelter of Lord Krishna, cheat themselves again and again.

4        "By wandering through 8 400 000 species of life one finally attains a human birth.

5        "They who do not take shelter of Lord Krishna's feet, even though they may be very proud themselves, are only unimportant fools who waste their human life."

6        The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shri Brahma to the demigods.

Anuccheda 109

1        Shrimad Bhagavatam (5.18.12) explains:

          "All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva.  On the other hand, a person devoid of devotional service and engaged in material activities has no good qualities.  Even if he is adept at the practice of mystic yoga or the honest endeavour of maintaining his family and relatives, he must be driven by his own mental speculations and must engage in the service of the Lord's external energy.  How can there be any good qualities in such a man?"*

2        Here the word "akincanah" means "desireless", "guanih" means "with the virtues that begin with knowledge and renunciation", "surah" means "all the demigods led by Siva and Brahma", and "asate" means "are present".

          This verse is spoken by Prahlada Maharaja to Lord Nrsimhadeva.

Anuccheda 110

1        Sages who have attained perfection in following various non devotional paths are condemned in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.9.10):

2        "Such non devotees engage their senses in very troublesome and extensive work and they suffer insomnia at night because their intelligence constantly breaks their sleep with various mental speculations.  They are frustrated in all their various plans by supernatural power.  Even great sages, if they are against Your transcendental topics, must rotate in this material world."*

3        In this verse are described the living entities, averse to You (the Lord), who reside in the material world.  What of them?  Even sages (rsayo pi) perfect in various non devotional paths, who are averse to You (yusmat-prasanga-vimukhah) must live in the material world (iha samsaranti).  Or the interpretation may be: if great sages are averse to You they must live in the material world.  What is the nature of the saints and sages who are confined to the material world?  They are described in this verse.  The following verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.2.32) also describes them:

          "O lotus-eyed Lord, although non devotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure.  They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet."*

4        Shri Yamaraja explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.3.19-22):

          "Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great rsis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyadharas and Caranas.*

5-6     "Lord Brahma, Bhagavan Narada, Lord Siva, the four Kumaras, Lord Kapila (the son of Devahuti), Svayambhuva Manu, Prahlada Maharaja, Janaka Maharaja, Grandfather Bhisma, Bali Maharaja, Sukadeva Gosvami, and I myself know the real religious principle.  My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhagavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature.  It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.*

7        "Devotional service, beginning with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is the ultimate religious principle for the living entity in human society."*

8        Here Yamaraja explains: "We, the teachers of religion, understand (vijanimah) what is real religion in this way.  We do not expound our own theories in scriptures we ourselves have written.  Real religion is very confidential (guhyam) and not easily understood (durbodham) by non devotees.  It is very confidential because when one understands (jnatva) it, he attains liberation (amrtam) as the final result.

9        It is also said (Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.38):

          "If brahmananda, the transcendental bliss derived from understanding impersonal Brahman, were multiplied a million times, such a quantity of brahmananda could not compare with even an atomic portion of the pleasure relished in pure devotional service."*

          In this way the superiority of devotional service is described.

10      It is also said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.33.39):

          "Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana  will attain the Lord's pure devotional service.  Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart."***

11      The scriptures also explain :

          "By tasting the nectar that comes from Lord Krishna's lips, they attain perfection."

          In this way they became purified.  The following explanation will also be given (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.3.25):

          "Because they are bewildered by the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Yajnavalkya and Jaimini and other compilers of the religious scriptures cannot know the secret, confidential religious system of the twelve mahajanas.  They cannot understand the transcendental value of performing devotional service or chanting the Hare Krishna mantra.  Because their minds are attracted to the ritualistic ceremonies mentioned in the Vedas, especially the Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Rg Veda, their intelligence has become dull.  Thus they have become busy collecting the ingredients for ritualistic ceremonies that yield only temporary benefits, such as elevation to Svargaloka for material happiness.  They are not attracted to the sankirtanan movement.  Instead they are interested in dharma, artha,, kama and moksa."*

12      The twelve mahajanas mentioned here are very virtuous.  They are different from the non devotee sages mentioned in Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.9.10, the quote in the beginning of this anuccheda.

Anuccheda 111

1        That devotional service to the Lord is the best of all spiritual paths is also confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (6.46-47):

          "A yogi greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker.  O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a yogi."*

2        "And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me-he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.  That is My opinion."*

3        Here, in Bhagavad-gita 6.47, the genitive case (of) is used in the sense of the ablative case (than).  (In this way the phrase "best of all yogis" means "better than all yogis).  In this way, Bhagavad-gita 6.46-47 explains that the devotees are the best of all yogis.  The other yogis referred to in the phrase "all yogis" are described in these words (Bhagavad-gita 4.25):

          "Some yogis perfectly worship the demigods by offering different sacrifices to them, and some of them offer sacrifices in the fire of the Supreme Brahman."*

          These are the different methods of yoga that were previously described in Bhagavad-gita.  Because the other kinds of yoga are criticised here, this verse proves that devotional service is eternally superior to all other kinds of yoga.

4        That devotional service is the best of all yogas and that it should be performed by all the varnas and asramas is also confirmed by Lord Krishna Himself.  The Lord said to Uddhava (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.18-42-43):

          "The main religious duties of a sannyasi are equanimity and non violence, whereas for the vanaprastha austerity and philosophical understanding of the difference between the body and soul are prominent.  The main duties of a householder are to give shelter to all living entities and perform sacrifices, and the brahmacari is mainly engaged in serving the spiritual master.***

          "A householder may approach his wife for sex only at the time prescribed for begetting children.  Otherwise, the householder should practice celibacy, austerity, cleanliness of mind and body, satisfaction in his natural position, and friendship toward all living entities.  Worship of Me is to be practiced by all human beings, regardless of social or occupational divisions."***

5        This is also confirmed by Shri Narada Muni who, in the course of describing the duties of the different varnas, says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.11.11):

          "Everyone should be engaged in hearing about the activities and instructions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead (who is the shelter of the saintly persons), chanting about those activities and instructions, trying to render service, performing worship, offering obeisances, becoming a servant, becoming a friend, and surrendering one's whole self."*

6        One is seriously at fault if he fails to engage in devotional service to the Lord.  This is described in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.5.2-3):

          "Each of the four social orders, headed by the brahmanas, was born through different combinations of the modes of nature, from the face, arms, thighs and feet of the Supreme Lord in His universal form.  Thus the four spiritual orders were also generated.***

          "If any of the members of the four varnas and four asramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they will fall down from their position into a hellish state of life."***

7        This is also confirmed in Mahabharata:

          "A person who does not worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who creates and dissolves the universes and also protects them as if He were their mother, should be considered as sinful as a brahmana-killer."

8        The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself affirms in Bhagavad-gita (7.15):

          "Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, who are lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons do not surrender unto Me."*

9        Failure to worship the Lord is also criticised in this passage, which appears in both the Agni Purana and the Vishnu-dharma Purana:

          "There are two classes of men in the created world.  One consists of the demonic and the other of the godly.  The devotees of Lord Vishnu are the godly, whereas those who are just the opposite of that are called demons."*

10      This is further explained in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.9.10):

          "If a brahmana has all twelve of the brahmanical qualifications (as they are stated in the book called Sanat-sujata) but is not a devotee and is averse to the lotus feet of the Lord, he is certainly lower than a devotee who is a dog-eater but who has dedicated everything-mind, words, activities, wealth and life-to the Supreme Lord.  Such a devotee is better than such a brahmana because the devotee can purify his whole family, whereas the so-called brahmana in a position of false prestige cannot purify even himself.

          The Narada Purana also explains:

          "O King, a dog eater who becomes a devotee of the Lord is far better than a non devotee brahmana."

11      "A person who, even if he knows the meanings of all the scriptures and had travelled to the end of all the Vedas, is not a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, should be considered the lowest of men."

12      This is also confirmed in the Brhan-naradiya Purana in these words:

          "They who hate the Vedas, brahmanas, and cows, and who do not worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, are considered demons."

13      This is also confirmed by the following prayer (Spoken by the demigods to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.2.32):

          "O lotus-eyed Lord, although non devotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure.  They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet."*

14      This verse explains that the non devotees' intelligence is impure (avisuddha-buddhayah) because they do not engage in devotional service (tvayy asta-bhavat).

15      The Supreme Lord confirms the importance of devotional service in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.22):

          "Neither religious activities endowed with honesty and mercy nor knowledge obtained with great penance can completely purify one's consciousness if they are bereft of loving service to Me."***

16      Taking shelter of the path of impersonal speculation, the non devotees think themselves superior to all others.  However, they are criticised by the Lord Himself in these words (Bhagavad-gita 12.5):

          "For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome.  To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied."*

          Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.2.32 explains that although with great difficulty (krcchrena) the impersonalists attain impersonal liberation (param padam) even in this life, they fall down (patanty adhah) again and their spiritual advancement perishes.

17      Why do they fall down?  The demigods say they fall down because they do not worship (anadrta) the Lord's lotus feet.  Because they not engage in devotional service, they become unintelligent, because they are unintelligent they do not worship the Lord, and because they do not worship the Lord they cannot become free from the material world.  Even though they may have burned away all their previous sinful reactions, because they disrespect the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they cannot become free from continued residence in the material world of birth and death.

18      The Bhagavat-parisista of the Vasana-bhasya explains:

          "Even if they imagine that they have become liberated in this life, the impersonalist yogi remain filled with material desires.  Only the devotees of the Lord are untouched by material activities."

19      This is also confirmed by the following description of the Rathayatra festival found in the Vishnu-bhakti-candrodaya portion of the Skanda Purana:

          "Even though his past karma may have already been burned up by the fire of transcendental knowledge, a person who out of illusion fails to follow the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He travels in His Rathayatra festival becomes in his next life a brahma-raksasa demon."

20      This is also confirmed by the following prayer addressed to the Lord (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.9.4):

          "This present form, or any transcendental form expanded by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, is equally auspicious for all the universes.  Since You have manifested this eternal personal form upon whom Your devotees meditate, I therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto You.  Those who are destined to be dispatched to the path of hell neglect Your personal form because of speculating on material topics."*

21      The Lord Himself also explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.19.5):

          "Therefore, My dear Uddhava, through knowledge you should understand your actual self.  Then, advancing by clear realisation of Vedic knowledge, you should worship Me in the mood of loving devotion."***

22      From all this it may be understood that devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternal and it is the best of all spiritual paths.  The Shrimad Bhagavatam verse (10.2.32) discussed here was spoken by the demigods to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Anuccheda 112

1        Loving devotional service destroys all past karma.  The Lord Himself describes this in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.25):

          "Just as gold, when smelted in fire, gives up its impurities and returns to its pure brilliant state, similarly, the spirit soul, absorbed in the fire of bhakti-yoga, is purified of all contaminations caused by previous fruitive activities and returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world."***

2        This verse means: "With love shaking away (vidhuya) past karma, the devotee attains his original pure spiritual form and then engages in serving (bhajati) Me (mam)."

          This is also described in Shridhara Svami's commentary on Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.87.21:

          "The liberated souls have spiritual forms so they may assist the Lord in His pastimes.  In the liberated state they serve the Lord."

Anuccheda 113

1        In the Skanda Purana, Reva-khanda, a devotee prays:

          "O Krishna, if your are pleased with him, a dog eater can become Indra, Siva, Brahma or the greatest brahmana.

2        "O infallible Lord, if they become averse to You, the great demigods headed by Brahma and Siva will fall down and become lower than dogeaters."

3        That devotional service removes all past karma is confirmed in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.28.22):

          "The blessed Lord Siva becomes all the more blessed by bearing on his head the holy waters of the Ganges, which has its source in the water that washed the Lord's lotus feet.  The Lord's feet act like thunderbolts hurled to shatter the mountain of sin stored in the mind of the meditating devotee.  One should therefore meditate on the lotus feet of the Lord for a long time."*

4        The meaning of this verse is clear.  From this it should be understood that because it is eternal, devotional service is the spiritual path that should be accepted.

          The condition of the liberated souls is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.87.20):

          "The individual living entity, event though he lives within material bodies by his karma, is actually spiritual and beyond both gross and subtle matter.  O Lord, O Master of all potencies, the Vedas say he is Your part and parcel.  Aware that this is the nature of the living entities, the great sages faithfully worship Your feet, which are worshipped in Vedic yajnas, and which grant liberation."

Anuccheda 114

1        It may also be said that devotional service has six different aspects.  One of these aspects is meditation on the Lord, which is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam from beginning to end.  For example, the first verse of Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.1.1) describes meditation on the Lord in these words:

          "I meditate upon Lord Shri Krishna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes.  He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him.  It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being.  By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water.  Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal.  I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Shri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world.  I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth."*

2        Two different kinds of meditation are described in the following passage of Bhagavad-gita (12.1-2):

          "Arjuna inquired: Which are considered to be more perfect, those who are always properly engaged in Your devotional service or those who worship the impersonal Brahma, the unmanifested?*

          The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: He whose mind is fixed on My personal form, always engaged in worshipping Me with great and transcendental faith is considered by Me to be the most perfect."*

          Meditation on the Supreme Personality of Godhead is more easily performed and is also the best kind of meditation.

          The Supreme Personality of Godhead and not the impersonal Brahman is the proper object of meditation and worship.  This is confirmed by the Lord Himself in these words (Bhagavad-gita 7.7. and 14.27):

          "O conqueror of wealth, there is not truth superior to Me.  Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread."*

          "I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness."*

          The conclusion, then, is that the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the best object of meditation.  Therefore, because He is all-knowing, because He is the master of all potencies, and because he is the creator, maintainer and destroyer of the material universes, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the best object of meditation.

          The verses quoted here (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.1.1 and 12.13.19) are also discussed in Shri Paramatma-sandarbha (anuccheda 105).

3        Meditation on the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.13.19):

          "I meditate upon that pure and spotless supreme Absolute Truth, who is free from suffering and death and who in the beginning personally revealed this incomparable torchlight of knowledge to Brahma.  Brahma then spoke it to the sage Narada, who narrated it to Krishna-dvaipayana Vyasa.  Shrila Vyasa revealed this Bhagavatam to the greatest of sages, Sukadeva Gosvami and Sukadeva mercifully spoke it to Maharaja Pariksit."***

4        In this way it is clear that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the best object of meditation.  The Supreme Personality of Godhead is also the original speaker of Shrimad Bhagavatam.  This is confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.1.1):

          "The Supreme Personality of Godhead first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being."*

          Many things that had been previously described again and again, and many other things that had never been described before, are revealed in Shrimad Bhagavatam.

5        An example of something previously unknown that was revealed in Shrimad Bhagavatam is found in the following verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.7.6), in relation to Shri Vyasadeva's vision in a meditative trance:

          "The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service.  But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyasadeva compiled this Vedic literature which is in relation to the Supreme Truth."*

6        In this way the statement that devotional service should be performed is repeated again and again in many different places in the scriptures.  The final conclusion is given in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.37):

          "When the living entity is attracted by the material energy that is separate from Krishna, he is overpowered by fear.  Because he is separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the material energy, his conception of life is reversed.  In other words, instead of being the eternal servant of Krishna, he becomes Krishna's competitor.  This is called viparyayah asmrtih.  To nullify this mistake, one who is actually learned and advanced worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his spiritual master, worshipful Deity and source of life.  He thus worships the Lord by the process of unalloyed devotional service."*

7        Everyone should engage in devotional service to the Lord.  This is confirmed in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.22):

          "Learned circles have positively concluded that the infallible purpose of the advancement of knowledge, namely austerity, study of the Vedas, sacrifice, chanting of hymns and charity, culminates in the transcendental descriptions of the Lord, who is defined in choice poetry."*

8        This is also confirmed in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.5.12):

          "Your friend the great sage Krishna-dvaipayana Vyasa has already described the transcendental qualities of the Lord in his great work the Mahabharata.  But the whole idea is to draw the attention of the mass of people to Krishna-katha (Bhagavad-gita) through their strong affinity for hearing mundane topics."*

          The meaning of this verse is clear.  The Shrimad Bhagavatam verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shri Vidura.

Anuccheda 115        

1        Devotional service is also described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.1.2):

          "Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart.  The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all.  Such truth uproots the threefold miseries.  This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva (in his maturity) is sufficient in itself for God realisation.  What is the need of any other scripture?  As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart."*

2        The ten topics of Shrimad Bhagavatam are listed in this verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.10.1):

          "Shri Sukadeva Gosvami said: In the Shrimad Bhagavatam there are ten divisions of statements regarding the following: the creation of the universe, sub creation, planetary systems, protection by the Lord, the creative impetus, the change of Manus, the  science of God, returning home, back to Godhead, liberation and the summum bonum."*

          In this way the transcendental science of devotional service is listed as one of the topics of Shrimad Bhagavatam.

3        That devotional service should be performed is also stated in Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.36, one of the four seed verses (2.9.33-36) of Shrimad Bhagavatam.  That verse (2.9.36) states:

4        "A person who is searching after the supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, must certainly search for it up to this, in all circumstances, in all space  and time and both directly and indirectly."*

5        In the previous three verses transcendental knowledge, confidential transcendental knowledge, and the different aspects of that knowledge were explained.  In this, the fourth verse, this statement is given.  The first three of these four verses have already been explained in Shri Bhagavat-sandarbha (in anuccheda 95).  In Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.31 the word "rahasya" refers to the advanced stage of love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead (prema-bhakti), and the word "tad-anga" refers to devotional service in practice (sadhana-bhakti).  Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "The word 'rahasya' means 'our devotional service' and the word 'tad-anga' means 'devotional service in practice (sadhana-bhakti).'"

6        The Vedic scriptures are manifested again and again.  This is described in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.3):

          "By the influence of time, the transcendental sound of Vedic knowledge was lost at the time of annihilation.  Therefore, when the subsequent creation took place, I spoke the Vedic knowledge to Brahma because I Myself am the religious principles enunciated in the Vedas."*

7        Therefore, in this, the fourth (2.9.36) of the seed verses of Shrimad Bhagavatam, the Supreme Lord describes devotional service in practice (sadhana-bhakti).

8        The following explanations may be also given.  In Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.36 the word "atmanah" means "of Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead", "tattva-jijnasuna" means "by one who desires to understand the secret of pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead", "etavad eva" means "one should inquire from the feet of the spiritual master".  What should one do?  That is explained in the words "anvaya-vyatirekabhyam yat".  "Anvaya" means "by performing prescribed activities", and "vyatireka" means "by avoiding forbidden activities."

9        The word "anvaya" is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.7.55):

          "In this material world, to render service to the lotus feet of Govinda, the cause of all causes, and to see Him everywhere, is the only goal of life.  This much alone is the ultimate goal of human life, as explained by all the revealed scriptures."*

          "Anvaya" is also explained in these words (Bhagavad-gita 9.34 and 18.65):

          "Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me.  Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."*

10      The word "vyatireka" is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.5.2-3):

          "From the mouth of brahma, the brahmanical order has come into existence.  Similarly, from his arms the ksatriyas have come, from his waist the vaisyas have come, and from his legs the sudras have come.  These four orders and their spiritual counterparts (brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa) combine to make human society complete.*

11      "If one simply maintains an official position in the four varnas and asramas but does not worship the Supreme Lord Vishnu, he falls down from his puffed-up position into a hellish condition."*

12      "Vyatireka is also explained in these words (Bhagavad-gita 7.15):

          "Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, who are lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons do not surrender unto Me."*

13      "Vyatireka" is also explained in these words of the Padma Purana:

          "If a person in this world does not drink the nectar descriptions of Lord Vishnu, which are the sweetest of all nectars, then many hundreds of times he must take birth in different material bodies and suffer the miseries of birth, old age, and death."

14      Where should one search for the Supreme Personality of Godhead?  Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.36 says "sarvatra" (one should search for Him everywhere, in all time and space).  "Everywhere" means "in all scriptures, performers of activities, places, senses, things, activities, duties and results."

          That the Supreme Personality of Godhead should be sought in all scriptures is described in Skanda Purana, in a conversation between Brahma and Narada in these words:

15      "In the material world, which is full of darkness and dangers, combined with birth and death and full of different anxieties, the only way to get out of the great entanglement is to accept loving transcendental devotional service to Lord Vasudeva.  This is accepted by all classes of philosophers."*

16      "Anvaya" (performance of prescribed duties) in relation to the Vedic scriptures is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.34):

          "The great personality Brahma, with great attention and concentration of the mind, studied the Vedas three times, and after scrutinizingly examining them, he ascertained that attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna is the highest perfection of religion."*

17      This is also explained in the following verse found in both Skanda and Padma Puranas:

          "By scrutinizingly reviewing all the revealed scriptures and judging them again and again, it is now concluded that Lord Narayana is the Supreme Absolute Truth, and thus He alone should be worshipped."*

18      "Anvaya" (avoidance of forbidden activities) is described in the Garuda Purana in these words:

          "Even though one may have gone to the other side of all the Vedas, and even though one is well versed in all the revealed scriptures, if one is not a devotee of the Supreme Lord, he must be considered the lowest of mankind."*

19      That devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead should be sought among all kinds of performers of action is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.7.46):

          "Surrendered souls, even from groups leading sinful lives, such as women, the labourer class, the mountaineers and the Siberians, or even the birds and beasts, can also know about the science of Godhead and become liberated from the clutches of the illusory energy by surrendering unto the pure devotees of the Lord and by following in their footsteps in devotional service."*

20      This is also explained in the Garuda Purana in these words:

          "Even the worms, birds, and beasts are assured of elevation to the highest perfectional life if they are completely surrendered to the transcendental loving service of the Lord, so what to speak of the philosophers among the human beings?"*

21      All people, whether well-behaved, ill-behaved, learned, ignorant, renounced, attached, desiring liberation, already liberated, perfect in devotional service, or not yet perfect in devotional service, are eligible to become the Lord's personal associates.  For this reason a devotee sees everyone, even though they many not yet have the Lord's personal association, equally, for they are all eligible to become the Lord's associates.  This is described in the following words (Bhagavad-gita 9.30):

22      "Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service, he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination."*

          The meaning of this verse is: "If this is the truth about the ill-behaved who are engaged in devotional service, then what can be said of the well-behaved who are engaged in devotional service?"

23      The Lord affirms that both the learned and unlearned are equally eligible to become His devotees (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.11.33):

          "My devotees may or may not know exactly, but if they worship Me with unalloyed love, then I consider them to be the best of devotees."*

24      This is also explained in the Brhan-naradiya Purana in these words:

          "As fire burns whatever it touches, so Lord Hari burns away the sins of even the fools."

25      The Supreme Personality of Godhead affirms that both the renounced and the materially attached are equally eligible to become His devotees.  He says (11.14.18):

          "My dear Uddhava, if My devotee has not fully conquered his senses, he may be harassed by material desires, but because of his unflinching devotion for Me, he will not be defeated by sense gratification."***

26      This verse means: "If this is so, then they who are not harassed by material desires will certainly never be defeated by sense gratification."  IN this way this verse is like Bhagavad-gita 9.30.

27      That they who desire liberation and they who have already attain liberation are both eligible to become devotees is confirmed in the following two verses.  The first verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.26) describes they who aspire to attain liberation:

          "Those who are serious about liberation are certainly non envious, and they respect all. Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Vishnu and His plenary portions."*

28      The second verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.7.10) describes they who are already liberated:

          "All different varieties of atmaramas (those who take pleasure in atma, or spirit self), especially those established on the path of self-realisation, though freed from all kinds of material bondage, desire to render unalloyed devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead.  This means that the Lord possesses transcendental qualities and therefore can attract everyone, including liberated souls."*

29      That both they who have attained perfection in devotional service and they who have not yet attained perfection in devotional service are both eligible to serve the Lord is described in the following two verses.  The first verse describes they who have already attained perfection in devotional service (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.1.15):

          "Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Krishna can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will revive.  He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays."*

30      The second verse describes they who have not yet attained perfection in devotional service (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.53):

          "The lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are sought even by the greatest of demigods, such as Brahma and Siva, who have all accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their life and soul.  A pure devotee of the Lord can never forget those lotus feet in any circumstance.  He will not give up his shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord for a single-moment-indeed, not for half a moment-even in exchange for the benediction of ruling and enjoying the opulence of the entire universe.  Such a devotee of the Lord is to be considered the best of the Vaishnavas."*

31      These devotees become the Lord's personal associates.  This is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 9.4.67):

          "My devotees who are always satisfied to be engaged in My loving service, are not interested even in the four principles of liberation (salokya, sarupya, samipya and sarsti), although these are automatically achieved by their service.  What then is to be said of such perishable happiness as elevation to the higher planetary systems?"*

32      They become the Lord's eternal associates.  This is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.15.22):

          "The goddesses of fortune worship the Lord in their own gardens by offering tulasi leaves on the coral-paved banks of transcendental reservoirs of water.  While offering worship to the Lord, they can see on the water the reflection of their beautiful faces with raised noses, and it appears that they have become more beautiful because of the Lord's kissing their faces."*

33      In Shrimad Bhagavatam and other Vedic literatures it is said that by engaging in devotional service in any continent, planet, or universe, one may attain perfection.  In this way it should be understood that in any country one may attain perfection by engaging in devotional service.

34      That devotional service may be performed with all the senses is described in these words:

          "Worshipping Lord Hari within their minds, the great souls attain Him, the Lord who is beyond words and the mind."

35      This verse proves that with the mind, words, or external senses, one may worship the Lord.

36      The Lord Himself explains that one may worship Him with anything.  He says (Bhagavad-gita 9.26):

          "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it."*

37      All kinds of activities may be employed in devotional service to the Lord, as is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.12):

          "Pure devotional service rendered to the supreme Lord is spiritually so potent that simply by hearing about such transcendental service, by chanting its glories in response, by meditating on it, by respectfully and faithfully accepting it, or by praising the devotional service of others, even persons who hate the demigods and all other living beings can be immediately purified."***

38      This is also confirmed by the Lord Himself in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 9.27):

          "Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform-do that, O son of Kunti as an offering to Me."*

39      In this way, even by engaging in what is only a dim shadow of real devotional service, and even when committing many offenses while engaging in such a dim shadow of real devotional service, one can still attain the real result of devotional service.  Ajamila, Musika and many others are examples of this.

40      All kinds of duties may also be employed in devotional service.  This is described in the Skanda Purana:

          "I offer my obeisances unto Him, the infallible, because simply by either remembering Him or vibrating His holy name one can attain the perfection of all penances, sacrifices or fruitive activities, and this process can be universally followed."*

41      All desires to attain certain results can also be employed in devotional service.  Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.3.10) explains:

          "A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all desires, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead."*

42      By serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead one automatically satisfies all the demigods.  This is confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.31.14):

          "As pouring water on the root of a tree energises the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else and, as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality."*

          Also in the Skanda Purana, in a conversation between Brahma and Narada, it is said:

43      "When the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, who carries in His hands, a conchshell, wheel, club, and lotus flower, is worshipped, certainly all other demigods are worshipped automatically, because Hari, the Personality of Godhead, is all pervading."*

44      Therefore one who directly engages in devotional service, one who donates cows or various things so they may provide something to offer the Lord, one to whom something is given so that gift may be pleasing to the Lord, one who takes milk and other things from cows or other living entities to offer foods to the Lord, and one in whose country or family devotional service is performed, all attain the perfection of engagement in devotional service.  This is seen in the statements of the Puranas.  In this way an example has been given for each of the cases employed in Sanskrit grammar.  In this way it is proved that devotional service should be performed everywhere and in all circumstances ("sarvatra" as explained in Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.36):

45      Devotional service is eternally manifest.  This is confirmed in Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.36 in the word "sarvada" (always).  Devotional service is manifested at the beginning of the universe's creation.  That is confirmed in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.3), where the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself says:

          "By the influence of time, the transcendental sound of Vedic knowledge was lost at the time of annihilation.  Therefore, when the subsequent creation took place, I spoke the Vedic knowledge to Brahma because I Myself am the religious principles enunciated in the Vedas."*

          That devotional service is manifested during the middle period, when the universes are manifested, is confirmed in many passages of the Vedic literatures.

46      Devotional service is present even during and after the four kinds of annihilations of the material universe.  This is described in the following question spoken by Vidura, a question that affirms that the Lord is served even after the material universe is annihilated (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.7.37):

          "Please describe how many dissolutions there are for the elements of material nature and who survives after the dissolutions to serve the Lord while He is asleep."*

47      That devotional service is present in all four yugas is confirmed in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.3..52):

          "Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Vishnu, in Treta yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvapara yuga by serving the Lord's lotus feet can be obtained in Kali yuga simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra."*

48      What more need be said?  The Vishnu Purana explains:

          "If even for a moment remembrance of Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is missed, that is the greatest loss, that is the greatest illusion, and that is the greatest anomaly."*

49      Devotional service may be performed in any circumstance.  Even while in the womb Shri Prahlada engaged in the devotional service of hearing the Lord's glories chanted by Shri Narada.  In childhood Shri Dhruva and many other engaged in devotional service.  In youth Ambarisa and many others engaged in devotional service.  In old age Dhrtarastra and many others engaged in devotional service.  At the moment of death Ajamila and many others engaged in devotional service.  In both the heavenly and hellish material worlds Citraketu and many others engaged in devotional service.

50      The Nrsimha Purana explains:

          "As they began chanting the holy name of Lord Hari, the residents of hell suddenly developed loving devotion for Him.  At that moment they were transported to the spiritual world."

51      That chanting the holy name of the Lord delivers one from hell is also described in these words spoken by Durvasa Muni (Shrimad Bhagavatam 9.4.62):

          "O my Lord, O supreme controller, without knowledge of Your unlimited prowess I have offended Your most dear devotee.  Very kindly save me from the reaction of this offense.  You can do everything, for even is a person is fit for hell, You can deliver him simply by awakening within his heart the holy name of Your Lordship."*

52      The glories of chanting the Lord's holy name are also described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11):

          "O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material enjoyment, and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge."*

53      "Vyatireka (avoiding what is forbidden) is described in the following passage from both the Brhan-narada Purana and the Padma Purana:

          "What is the use of studying the Vedas?  What is the use of studying other scriptures?  What is the use of going on pilgrimages?  What is the use of practicing austerities?  What is the use of performing sacrifices?  What is the use of these things to they who have no devotion to Lord Vishnu?

          "What is the use of studying many scriptures?  What is the use of performing many sacrifices?  What is the use of performing a thousand vajapeya-yajnas?  What is the use of these things to a person filled with devotion to Lord Krishna, the saviour from miseries?"

54      That all kinds of spiritual activities are useless without devotional service is also described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.4.17):

          "Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the all-auspicious Lord Shri Krishna again and again because the great learned sages, the great performers of charity, the great workers of distinction, the great philosophers and mystics, the great chanters of the Vedic hymns and the great followers of Vedic principles cannot achieve any fruitful results without dedication of such great qualities to the service of the Lord."*

55      That is also confirmed by these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.19.23):

          "An intelligent person does not take interest in a place, even in the topmost planetary system, if the pure Ganges of topics concerning the Supreme Lord's activities does not flow there, if there are not devotees engaged in service on the banks of such a river of piety, or if there are no festivals of sankirtana-yajna to satisfy the Lord (especially since sankirtana yajna is recommended in this age)."*

56      That is again confirmed by these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.59.41):

          "Even after Indra had bowed down to Lord Acyuta, touched His feet with the tips of his crown and begged the Lord to fulfil his desire, that exalted demigod having achieved his purpose, chose to fight with the Supreme Lord.  What ignorance there is among the gods!  To hell with their opulence!"***

57      That the devotees are interested only in devotional service is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.7.52):

          "A pure devotee does not accept any kind of liberation-salokya, sarsti, samipya, sarupya or ekatva-even though they are offered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

58      That the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased only by devotional service is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.7.52):

          "My dear friends, O sons of the demons, you cannot please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by becoming perfect brahmanas, demigods, or great saints or by becoming perfectly good in etiquette or vast learning.  None of these qualifications can awaken the pleasure of the Lord.  Nor by charity, austerity, sacrifice, cleanliness or vows can one satisfy the Lord.  The Lord is pleased only if one has unflinching, unalloyed devotion to Him.  Without sincere devotional service, everything is simply a show."*

59      That only devotional service has value is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.12):

          "Knowledge of self-realisation, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible (God).  What, then, is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilised for the devotional service of the Lord?"*

60      That the devotees are interested only in devotional service is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.15.48):

          "Persons who are very expert and most intelligent in understanding things as they are engage in hearing narrations of the auspicious activities and pastimes of the Lord, which are worth chanting and worth hearing.  Such persons do not care even for the highest material benediction, namely liberation, to say nothing of other less important benedictions like the material happiness of the heavenly kingdom."*

61      The statement of Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.36, that one should always (sarvada) and everywhere (sarvatra) engage in devotional service, is confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.36):

          "O King, it is therefore essential that every human being hear about, glorify and remember the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, always and everywhere."*

62      The statement of Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.36, that one should engage in devotional service by performing prescribed activities (anvaya) and avoiding forbidden activities (vyatireka), is further explained by these words from the Padma Purana:

          "Krishna is the origin of Lord Vishnu.  He should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time.  All the rules and prohibitions mentioned in the sastras should be the servants of these two principles."*

63      The statement of Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.36, that one should engage in devotional service always (sarvada) and everywhere (sarvatra) by performing prescribed activities (anvaya) and avoiding forbidden activities (vyatireka), is further explained by these words from Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.2.33 and 2.2.36):

          "For those who are wandering in the material universe, there is no more auspicious means of deliverance than what is aimed at in the direct devotional service of Lord Krishna."*

64      "O King, it is therefore essential that every human being hear about, glorify and remember the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, always and everywhere."*

65      In this verse the word "nrnam" means "of the living entities".  The living entities are described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.87.20):

          "The individual living entity, even though he lives within material bodies created by his karma, is actually spiritual and beyond both gross and subtle matter.  O Lord, O master of all potencies, the Vedas say he is Your part and parcel.  Aware that this is the nature of the living entities, the great sages faithfully worship Your feet, which are worshipped in Vedic yajnas, and which grant liberation."

          The living entity attains different destinations as a result of his activities.  By engaging in fruitive activities (karma), he attains another material body.  By engaging in yoga he attains mystic perfections.  By engaging in the study of sankhya philosophy he attains knowledge of the spirit soul.  By engaging in jnana-yoga he attains impersonal liberation.  In this way, by performing different activities described in the scriptures, he attains different results.

          By always (sarvada) and everywhere (sarvatra) engaging in devotional service by performing prescribed activities (anvaya) and avoiding forbidden activities (vyatireka), he attains a glorious secret (rahasya) that is hidden from the perception of they who are engaged in jnana-yoga.

66      That the living entities should engage in devotional service is confirmed by the following words.  As Shri Narada was about to explain the science of Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shri Brahma gave him the following instruction (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.7.52):

          "Please describe the science of Godhead with determination and in a manner by which it will be quite possible for the human being to develop transcendental devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead Hari, the Supersoul of every living being and the summum bonum source of all energies."*

67      Here the word "bhavisyati" means "will inevitably be", "iti" refers to the path of devotional service, and "sankalpya" means "by accepting certain restrictions".  This verse was spoken by Shri Brahma to Shri Narada.

Anuccheda 116

1        In order that the great Purana (Shrimad Bhagavatam) be revealed, Shri Narada gave the following instruction (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.13):

          "O Vyasadeva, your vision is completely perfect.  Your good fame is spotless.  You are firm in vow and situated in truthfulness.  And thus you can think of the pastimes of the Lord in trance for the liberation of the people in general from all material bondage."*

2        Here the word "atho" means "therefore".  This verse immediately follows these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.12):

          "Knowledge of self-realisation, event though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible (God).  What, then, is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilised for the devotional service of the Lord?"*

          In Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.13 the words "anusmara tad-vicestitam" (thinking of the pastimes of the Lord) describe pure and unbroken devotional service.

Anuccheda 117

1        At the conclusion of this instruction to Vyasa, Shri Narada said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.40):

          "Please, therefore, describe the Almighty Lord's activities which you have learned by your vast knowledge of the Vedas, for that will satisfy the hankerings of great learned men and at the same time mitigate the miseries of the masses of common people who are always suffering from material pangs.  Indeed, there is no other way to get out of such miseries."*

2        Here the word "vidam" means "of great learned men".  This verse was spoken by Shri Narada to Shri Vyasa.

Anuccheda 118

1        In the beginning of Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shri Vyasa declared devotional service to be the highest good.  In a vision he had during a mystic trance, a vision that has already been discussed in the Tattva-sandarbha, he also saw the truth of devotional service.  What he saw is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.7.4):

          "Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service (bhakti-yoga) without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control."*

2        In Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.19.30 Uddhava asked the Lord, "What is the greatest attainment?" and the Lord replied, "Devotion to Me is the greatest attainment."  The meaning of these verses is clear.  The last verse was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Anuccheda 119

1        (The importance of devotional service is also seen in the next verse.  Unhappy even after compiling the Vedas), Vyasadeva reflects on (what may have been the cause of His unhappiness).  He says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.4.31):

          "This may be because I did not specifically point out the devotional service of the Lord, which is dear both to perfect beings and the infallible Lord."*

2        The meaning of this verse is clear.  It was spoken by Shri Vyasa.

Anuccheda 120

1        By this instruction the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the teacher of all, says that devotional service is the most exalted of all spiritual paths.  This is also confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.16.40):

          "O unconquerable one, when You spoke about bhagavata-dharma, which is the uncontaminated religious system for achieving the shelter of Your lotus feet, that was Your victory.  Persons who have no material desires, like the Kumaras, who are self satisfied sages, worship You to be liberated from material contamination.  In other words, they accept the process of bhagavata-dharma to achieve shelter at Your lotus feet."*

2        In this verse the word "jitam" means "conquered by You", and "aha" means "You spoke."  This verse was spoken by Citraketu to Shri Sankarsana.

Anuccheda 121

1        In this way it is proved that one should engage in devotional service.  In many places in the scriptures devotional service mixed with fruitive work or other activities is described.  This is done so that they who have faith in these other spiritual paths may come into contact with devotional service and thus attain the real goal of life.  When they thus taste the nectar happiness of serving the Lord they will become devotees and always engage in devotional service.

          Previously we had explained the glories of devotional service and demonstrated that it should be performed in all situations.  Now we will explain that devotional service should be performed by everyone, that the devotees should do devotional service only and not anything else, that devotional service is the highest religion, and that devotional service fulfils all desires.

2        That devotional service is the highest religion is confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.3.22):

          "Devotional service, beginning with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is the ultimate religious principle for the living entity in human society."*

3        That devotional service fulfils all desires is confirmed by these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.2.10):

          "A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead."*

4        The exalted nature of devotional service is also described in these words, where the Lord Himself says (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.15.35):

          "My dear Uddhava, I am the cause, the protector and the Lord of all mystic perfections, of the yoga system, of analytic knowledge, of the pure activities of devotional service, and of the community of learned Vedic teachers."

5        That devotional service is the highest religion is confirmed in the Skanda Purana, where in a conversation between Sanat-kumara and Markandeya Muni it is said:

          "The religion of worshipping Lord Vishnu is the best of all religions.  Worshipping Lord Vishnu brings a result many millions of times greater than one can attain by performing all yajnas, austerities and homas, and by bathing in all holy places.  Therefore one should, with all his energy, worship Lord Narayana in this world."

6        Again in the Skanda Purana, in a conversation between Brahma and Narada, the following statement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is given:

          "A person who performs many thousands of thousands of asvamedha-yajnas does not attain the same result attained by My devotees."

7        That devotional service destroys all inauspiciousness is explained by these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.1.17):

          "The path followed by pure devotees, who are well behaved and fully endowed with the best qualifications, is certainly the most auspicious path in this material world.  It is free from fear, and it is authorised by the sastras."*

8        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments: "Devotional service is not like the path of impersonal speculation (jnana), which brings one fear by convincing one not to serve the Lord.  Nor is devotional service like the path of fruitive work (karma) which brings fear because it carries with it envy and a host of other vices."

9        That devotional service destroys all inauspiciousness is also affirmed by the Lord Himself in these words from the Skanda Purana, Dvaraka-mahatmya:

          "They who engage in My devotional service will never find inauspiciousness , either in this world or the next.  Indeed, they personally carry many millions of their family members to the spiritual world."

10      That devotional service destroys all inauspiciousness is also described in these words of the Vishnu Purana:

          "I always take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari, who is the abode of all auspiciousness."

11      That devotional service destroys all obstacles to spiritual advancement is confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.2.33):

          "O Madhava, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord of the goddess of fortune, if devotees completely in love with You sometimes fall from the path of devotion, they do not fall like non devotees, for You still protect them.  Thus they fearlessly traverse the heads of their opponents and continue to progress in devotional service."*

12      The verse immediately preceding this explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.2.32):

          "O lotus-eyed Lord, although non devotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure.  They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet."*

          This means that even though they may attain impersonal liberation, because they do not worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead the impersonalists are frustrated in attaining the supreme goal of life.  The devotees, however, are not frustrated in their attempt to attain the real goal of life.  This verse says; "Even though the impersonalists may ascend to impersonal Brahman realisation, they however, again fall down.  O Lord, Your devotees, however, do not fall down from their engagement in the activities of devotional service to You.  How can they abandon You, the goal of their lives?"  That is the meaning.

13      It may be observed that Vrtra, Gajendra, Bharata, and many others fell down from an exalted life in devotional service.  However, because their desire to engage in devotional service followed them to their next birth, they ultimately attained success.

          The impersonalists, however, do not retain the desire for spiritual advancement when they fall down.  Their desires become material.  Their position is described in the following words from the Vasana-bhasya:

          "After they attain Brahman liberation the impersonalists again fall down, for they are offenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the mater of all inconceivable potencies."

14      In this way the impersonalists become filled with material desires and fall down from Brahman liberation.  That is clearly described in this verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.2.32).  This verse implies, "O Lord, Your devotees, however, do not fall down."  That the impersonalists do fall down and the devotees do not fall down are both facts of equal certainty.  They are true without doubt.  This verse implies, "O Lord, because the devotees love You, and because they have faith in the activities of devotional service (sadhana-bhakti), they do not fall down."

15      That devotional service removes all obstacles to spiritual progress is also described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.4.10):

          "The demigods place many obstacles on the path of those who worship You to transcend the temporary abodes of the demigods and reach Your supreme abode.  Those who offer the demigods their assigned share in sacrificial performances encounter no such obstacles.  But because You are the direct protector of Your devotee, he is able to step over the head of whatever obstacle the demigods place before him."***

16      That devotional service removes all obstacles to spiritual progress is again described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.35):

          "O King, one who accepts this process of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead will never blunder on his path in this world.  Even while running with eyes closed, he will never trip or fall."***

Anuccheda 122

1        That devotional service removes all obstacles to spiritual progress is confirmed by the Supreme Lord Himself in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.21.24):

          "My dear rsi, O leader of the living entities, for those who serve Me in devotion by worshipping Me, especially persons like you who have given up everything unto Me, there is never any question of frustration."*

2        Here the words "mayi sangrbhitatmanam" mean "their hearts are fixed on Me".

          That devotional service removes all obstacles to spiritual progress is again confirmed by the Lord Himself in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.18):

          "My dear Uddhava, if My devotee has not fully conquered his sense, he may be harassed by material desires, but because of his unflinching devotion for Me, he will not be defeated by sense gratification."*

3        The word "badhayamanah" in Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.18 means that the neophyte devotee sometimes remembers the Lord and becomes attracted to Him.  That is what should be understood here.

          That the devotee is not defeated in his attempts at spiritual advancement is also, confirmed by the Lord Himself in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.20.27):

          "Having awakened faith in the narrations of My glories, being disgusted with all material activities, knowing that all sense-gratification leads to misery, but still being unable to renounce all sense enjoyment, My devotee should remain happy and worship Me with great faith and conviction.  Even though he is sometimes engaged in sense enjoyment, My devotee knows that all sense gratification leads to a miserable result, and he sincerely repents such activities."***

          In this way the devotee humbly prays to the Lord and perseveres in his activities of devotional service.  The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shri Sukadeva to Shri Kardama.

Anuccheda 123

1        That devotional service removes all fears obtained from wicked living entities or other sources of fear is confirmed by these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.5.43-44):

          "Hiranyakasipu could not kill his son by throwing him beneath the feet of big elephants, throwing him among huge, fearful snakes, employing destructive spells, hurling him from the top of a hill, conjuring up illusory tricks, administering poison, starving him, exposing him to severe colds, winds, fire and water, or throwing heavy stones to crush him.  When Hiranyakasipu found that he could not in any way harm Prahlada, who was completely sinless, he was in great anxiety about what to do next."*

2        In the Vishnu Purana, Shri Prahlada himself said:

          "Elephants with tusks hard as thunderbolts attacked me, but I remained unhurt."

          Also in Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.6.3) it is said:

          "My dear King, wherever people in any position perform their occupational duties of devotional service by chanting and hearing (sravanam kirtanam visnoh), there cannot be any danger from bad elements.  Therefore there was no need for anxiety about Gokula while the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally present."*

3        This is also confirmed by the following statement of Shri Brhan-narada Purana:

          "No obstacles can stop one who worships Lord Vishnu.  Neither kings, nor thieves, nor diseases can trouble him.  Pretas, pisacas, kusmandas, grahas, balagrahas, dakinis, and raksasas cannot harm him."

          The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shri Narada to Shri Yudhisthira.

Anuccheda 124

1        That they who are engaged in devotional service are always free of fears is again confirmed by the following rhetorical question (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.22.37):

          "Therefore, O Vidura, how can persons completely under the shelter of Lord Krishna in devotional service be put into miseries pertaining to the body, the mind, nature, and other men and living creatures?"*

2        This is also confirmed by the following statement of the Garuda Purana:

          "Neither Durvasa's curse nor Indra's thunderbolt have the power to harm a devotee who keeps Lord Krishna in his heart."

3        The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shri Maitreya to Shri Vidura.

Anuccheda 125

1        Devotional service destroys both the sufferings created by sins already committed and the desire to commit sins in the future.  This is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.19):

          "My dear Uddhava, just as a blazing fire turns firewood into ashes, similarly, devotion unto Me completely burns to ashes sins committed by My devotees."*

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "This verse means, "As (yatha) a great blazing fire (agnih) burns firewood to ashes, so devotional service to Me (mad-visaya bhaktih), which I have now described burns away all sins."   In this way the Supreme Personality of Godhead describes the glory and wonder of devotional service.  He says, "O Uddhava, please hear this great wonder."

3        Here the example of a great fire is given.  In this example the fire is great.  However, even if the fire of devotional service is not very great it will still burn away all sins.

4        In the Padma Purana, Patala-khanda, Vaisakha-mahatmya it is also said:

          "As a blazing fire burns firewood to ashes, so in a single moment devotional service to the Lord burns away all sins."

5        This is again confirmed by these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.2.15):

          "If one chants the holy name of Hari and then dies because of an accidental misfortune, such as falling from the top of a house, slipping and suffering broken bones while travelling on the road, being bitten by a serpent, being afflicted with pain and high fever, or being injured by a weapon, one is immediately absolved from having to enter hellish life, even though he is sinful."*

          Here the potential mood (vidhi-lin) is understood although not expressed.  The sentences beginning "pusa prapistha-bhagah", and "yad agneyo staka-palo bhavati" (from the Yajur Veda) are examples of the potential being understood although not expressed.

6        The value of hearing about the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.1.5):

          "O descendent of King Bharata, one who desires to be free from all miseries must hear about, glorify, and also remember the Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul, the controller, and the saviour from all miseries."*

7        The word "tasmat" here indicates the reason for hearing the glories of the Lord.  It would be wrong to say there is no reason to hear them.  The benefit derived from hearing the Lord's glories is not dependent on following a host of rules and regulations.  By its own nature, the hearing of the Lord's glories brings the great benefit described here, just as by its own nature, a fire burns firewood to ashes.  This was described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda.

8        That the performance of devotional service is not dependent on careful attention to a host of rules and regulations is also seen in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.35):

          "O King, one who accepts this process of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead will never blunder on his path in this world.  Even while running with eyes closed, he will never trip or fall."***

9        The Shrimad Bhagavatam verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda also refutes the idea that a long delay stands between the beginning of devotional service and the attainment of its results.  That there is no such delay is also confirmed in the quote from Padma Purana in text 4, which says "tat-ksanat" (devotional service destroys all sins in a single moment).

Anuccheda 126

1        That devotional service brings immediate results is also confirmed in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.1.15):

          "Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Krishna can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will revive.  He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays."*

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "This verse describes a rare and exalted stage of devotional service.  The word 'kevalata' means 'not mixed with the activities of the path of austerity or any other spiritual path'.  'Vasudeva-parayana' means 'not having faith in any other path.'  That is the meaning here."

3        This verse explains that as the sun (bhaskarah) dissipates fog (niharam) with its rays, so a devotee (vasudeva-parayanah) uproots the weeds of sinful actions by performing devotional service (bhaktya).

Anuccheda 127

1        That one becomes purified by engaging in devotional service is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.1.16):

          "My dear King, if a sinful person engages in the service of a bona fide devotee of the Lord and thus learns how to dedicate his life unto the lotus feet of Krishna, he can be completely purified.  One cannot be purified merely by undergoing austerity, penance, brahmacarya and the other methods of atonement I have previously described."*

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "This verse affirms that devotional service to the Lord is better than the path of impersonal speculation. One is not purified by following the path of speculation (na tatha puyate).  However a person who has dedicated his life to Lord Krishna is purified by serving the Supreme Lord (tat-purusa-nisevaya)."

3        Atonement attained by engaging in devotional service is better than atonement attained by impersonal speculation.  This is described in the following verse (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.1.11):

          "My dear King, since acts meant to neutralise impious actions are also fruitive, they will not release one from the tendency to act fruitively.  Persons who subject themselves to the rules and regulations of atonement are not at all intelligent.  Indeed, they are in the mode of darkness.  Unless one is freed from the mode of ignorance, trying to counteract one action through another is useless because this will not uproot one's desires.  Thus even though one may superficially seem pious, he will undoubtedly be prone to act impiously.  Therefore real atonement is enlightenment in perfect knowledge, Vedanta, by which one understands the Supreme Absolute Truth."*

          These words are elaborately explained in Shrila Shridhara Svami's commentary.

4        Shrimad Bhagavatam (6.13.17) explains:

          "Indra's sins were diminished by the influence of Rudra, the demigod of all directions.  Because Indra was protected by the goddess of fortune, Lord Vishnu's wife, who resides in the lotus clusters of Manasa-sarovara Lake, Indra's sins could not affect him.  Indra was ultimately relieved of all the reactions of his sinful deeds by strictly worshipping Lord Vishnu.  Then he was called back to the heavenly planets by the brahmanas and reinstated in his position."*

          This means that by meditating on Lord Vishnu, Indra became freed from the impious result attained by killing the brahmana Vrtrasura.

          Shrimad Bhagavatam (6.13.18) then explains:

          "O king, when Lord Indra reached the heavenly planets, the saintly brahmanas approached him and properly initiated him into a horse sacrifice (asvamedha-yajna) meant to please the Supreme Lord."*

          We may note that ordinary people think one must perform an asvamedha-yajna to become genuinely freed from the results of sins.

5        Here someone may ask: "Why is it by worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead Indra was able to become freed from the sin of killing the great devotee Vrtrasura, who was situated in the platform of pure love for the Lord?  It is generally understood that one becomes freed from a great offense only by either experiencing the punishment that is its proper result, or by receiving the mercy of the Lord of His devotee."

          This objection is answered in the following words:  The Supreme Personality of Godhead ordered Indra to kill Vrtra, and therefore there is actually no fault on Indra's part.  Worshipping the Lord was therefore sufficient atonement for Indra.  The Supreme Personality of Godhead ordered Indra to kill Vrtra so Vrtra could become freed from having a demon's body.  Therefore Indra is not at fault here.

          The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami.

Anuccheda 128        

1        That devotional service removes the results of past sins is explained in the following two verses (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.33.6-7):

          "To say nothing of the spiritual advancement of persons who see the Supreme Person face to face, even a person born in a family of dog-eaters immediately becomes eligible to perform Vedic sacrifices if he once utters the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or chants about Him, hears about His pastimes, offers Him obeisances or even remembers Him."*

2        "Oh, how glorious are they whose tongues are chanting Your holy name!  Even if born in the families of dog-eaters, such persons are worshippable.  Persons who chant the holy name of Your Lordship must have executed all kinds of austerities and fire sacrifices and achieved all the good manners of the Aryans.  To be chanting the holy name of Your Lordship, they must have bathed at holy places of pilgrimage, studied the Vedas and fulfilled everything required."*

3        The word 'svadah' here means 'a member of the dogeater-caste'.  The dictionary defines the word 'svadah' as 'a person who presently eats dog's flesh, as carnivorous animals eat the flesh of various creatures'.  The word 'svadah' here, however, refers to a person who in the past ate dog's flesh, performed atonement for that sin, and does not eat dog's flesh in the present.  This second meaning is the common usage of the word 'svadah'.  The rule 'rudhir yogam apaharati' (customary usage takes precedence over dictionaries and etymology), here eclipses the dictionary definition.  In this way the word 'svadah' is defined here.

4        Here the word 'savanaya' refers to the soma-yajna.  Simply by once hearing the holy name of the Lord one becomes free from past sins and the low birth they have brought and becomes qualified to perform the soma-yajna.  That is the meaning here.

5        If this is true even for dogeaters that become devotees, then how much more true is it for devotees that come from pious backgrounds?  Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.14.21) explains:

          "Only by practicing unalloyed devotional service with full faith in Me can one obtain Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  I am naturally dear to My devotees, who take Me as the only goal of their loving service.  By engaging in such pure devotional service, even the dogeaters can purify themselves from the contamination of their low birth."*

6        By engaging in devotional service a dogeater becomes purified of the contamination brought by his past sins and he also attains the qualities needed to perform a yajna.  In this way he is qualified to perform a yajna.  A boy born in a brahmana family is not automatically qualified to perform yajnas.  He is only qualified when he attains saintly qualities and when he is properly initiated.  A person born in a brahmana family thus must undergo an elaborate procedure to become qualified to perform a yajna.  A devotee, however, is automatically qualified.  Therefore a devotee is more worthy of receiving worship than is a brahmana.  This is confirmed by Shrila Shridhara Svami, who comments here, "This statement declares that a devotee of the Lord is supremely worthy of receiving worship."  In this way it is clearly seen that the performance of devotional service removes all the disadvantages created by past sins.

7        This is confirmed in Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.33.7 (quoted in text 2).  There the word "aho" indicates a sense of being struck with wonder.  That verse states: "Even a dogeater is glorious if Your holy name stays on his tongue."  How is that?  The answer is given "He must have executed all kinds of austerities."  The meaning here that a person who chants Your holy name, O Lord, is the most saintly of persons.

8        In this way engagement in devotional service to the Lord removes the diseases and sufferings caused by past sins.  This is described in the Skanda Purana in these words:

          "I offer my respectful obeisances to the limitless Supreme Personality of Godhead.  When one remembers His holy name all one's sufferings and diseases perish."

9        Shri Nama-kaumudi also explains that because chanting of the Lord's holy name fulfils all the desires of the devotee, it also removes all his past sins.

          The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shri Devahuti.

Anuccheda 129        

1        That devotional service removes material desires is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.2.17):

          "Although one may neutralise the reactions of sinful life through austerity, charity, vows and other such methods, these pious activities cannot uproot the material desires in one's heart.  However, if one serves the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, he is immediately freed from all such contaminations."*

2        Here the word "adharma-jam" means "born from irreligious activities".  The heart is not purified of sins simply by samskaras.  The heart is purified only by serving the feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  That is the meaning here.

3        That engagement in devotional service removes all past sins is explained in these words of Shri Padma Purana:

          There are four kinds of effects due to sinful activities.  They are listed as follows:  1. the effect which is not yet fructified,  2. the effect which is lying as seed,  3. the effect which is already mature, and 4. the effect which is almost mature.  All these four effects become immediately vanquished for those who surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu and become engaged in His devotional service in full Krishna consciousness."*

          Note: These four effects of sins are described by Shrila Prabhupada in Nectar of Devotion, Chapter One, under the sub-heading "Relief from Material Distress."

4        These four kinds of sinful reactions, 1. the effect which is not yet fructified, 2. the effect which is lying as seed, 3. the effect which is already mature, and 4. the effect which is almost mature, will be described in detail later in this book.

          The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by the Shri Vishnudutas to the Yamadutas.

Anuccheda 130

1        That devotional service removes ignorance is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.11.30):

          "Thus regaining your natural position and rendering service unto the Supreme Lord, who is the all-powerful reservoir of all pleasure and who lives in all living entities as the Supersoul, you will very soon forget the illusory understanding of 'I' and 'my'."*

2        That devotional service removes ignorance is also described in Padma Purana in these words:

          "Pure devotional service in Krishna consciousness is the highest enlightenment, and when such enlightenment is there, it is just like a blazing forest fire, killing all the inauspicious snakes of desire."*

3        The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shri Manu to Maharaja Dhruva.

Anuccheda 131

1        That by engaging in devotional service one satisfies everyone is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.31.14):

          "As pouring water on the root of a tree energises the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality."*

2        That everyone is pleased with a devotee is also described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.9.46-47):

          "Suruci, the younger mother of Dhruva Maharaja, seeing that the innocent boy had fallen at her feet, immediately picked him up, embracing him with her hands, and with tears of feeling she blessed him with the words, 'My dear boy, long may you live!'*

3        "Unto one who has transcendental qualities due to friendly behaviour with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all living entities offer honour, just as water automatically flows down by nature."*

4        Suruci was of Dhruva's enemy and the co-wife of Dhruva's mother.  Dhruva has just come from worshipping the Supreme Lord.

5        That everyone is pleased with a devotee is also described in these words of the Padma Purana:

          "A person who worships Lord Hari pleases all the worlds.  All moving and unmoving living entities love him."

6        The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shri Maitreya Muni.

Anuccheda 132

1        That devotional service brings with it knowledge, renunciation, and all other spiritual virtues is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.18.12):

          "All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva.  On the other hand, a person devoid of devotional service and engaged in material activities has no good qualities.  Even if he is adept at the practice of mystic yoga or the honest endeavour of maintaining his family and relatives, he must be driven by his own mental speculations and must engage in the service of the Lord's external energy.  How can there be any good qualities in such a man?"*

2        That devotional service grants the happiness of Svargaloka, liberation, and residence in the Lord's transcendental abode is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.20. 32-33):

          "Everything that can be achieved by fruitive activities, penance, knowledge, detachment, mystic yoga, charity, religious duties, and all other means of perfecting life, is easily achieved by My devotee through loving service to Me.  If somehow or other My devotee desires promotion to heaven, liberation or residence in My abode, he easily achieves such benedictions."***

3        Devotional service brings such great happiness that it inspires one to reject the methods and goals of karma (fruitive work) and jnana (impersonal speculation).  This is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.14):

          "One who has fixed his consciousness on Me desires neither the position or abode of Lord Brahma or Lord Indra, nor an empire on the earth, nor sovereignty in the lower planetary systems, nor the eightfold perfection of yoga, nor liberation from birth and death.  Such a person desires Me alone."***

4        Here the word "rasadhipatyam" means "sovereignty in the lower planetary systems", and "apuna-bhavam" means "impersonal liberation".  What more?  The word "anyat" means "anything else one may aspire to attain."   The devotees does not desire (na icchati) any of this.  The Lord says, "He desires only Me (mam), who am attained by devotional service and who is the greatest of all goals of life.  In this way the devotee is completely surrendered unto Me (mayy arpitatma)."

Anuccheda 133

1        Pure devotional service offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is beyond the modes of nature.  All other works are in the realm of the material modes.  This is explained in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.25.23):

2        "Work performed as an offering to Me, without consideration of the fruit, is considered to be in the  mode of transcendental goodness, beyond the material modes.  Work performed with a desire to enjoy the result is in the mode of passion.  And work impelled by violence and envy is in the mode of ignorance."

3        Here the word "mad-arpanam" means "offered to Me", "nisphalam" means "without desiring to enjoy the results", and "adi" means "pride, envy, and a host of other vices".

Anuccheda 134

1        Non-devotional activities are situated in the realm of the three modes of material nature.  Activities of direct devotional service, however, are transcendental and beyond the modes of nature.  The Lord Himself explains this in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.25.24):

2        "Absolute knowledge is in the mode of goodness, knowledge based on duality is in the mode of passion, and foolish, materialistic knowledge is in the mode of ignorance.  Knowledge based upon Me, however, is understood to be transcendental."***

3        Here the word "prakrtam" means "material knowledge, which is like the small knowledge of a child or a deaf-mute", "vaikalpikam" means "the knowledge attained by using the material body and senses", "rajah" means "the mode of passion", and "jnana-kaivalyam" means "impersonal knowledge whereby one imagines that the individual living entity and the Supreme Brahman are not different."  The word "tvam" (you) is therefore a word that has no meaning in impersonalism.  Only the word "tat" (it) has meaning for the impersonalists.  When the heart and mind are situated in material goodness then the pure and subtle impersonal feature of the Absolute can be understood.  Therefore the impersonal Absolute that is manifested in the mode of material goodness.

4        The different effects of the different modes are explained in these words of Shri Bhagavad-gita (14.17):

          "From the mode of goodness, real knowledge develops; from the mode of passion, greed develops; and from the mode of ignorance develop foolishness, madness and illusion."*

5        The rareness of knowledge of the Supreme Person is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.14.2 and 5):

          "Demigods situated in the mode of goodness and great saints cleansed of the dirt of material enjoyment hardly ever render pure devotional service at the lotus feet of Mukunda."*

6        "O great sage, among many millions who are liberated and perfect in knowledge of liberation, one may be a devotee of Lord Narayana, or Krishna.  Such devotees, who are fully peaceful, are extremely rare."*

7        Knowledge of the Supreme Person is not attained by they who are situated in the three modes of goodness, passion and ignorance.  This is explained in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.14.1):

          "O learned brahmana, demons are generally sinful, being obsessed with the modes of passion and ignorance.  How, then, could Vrtrasura have attained such exalted love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana?"*

8        Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami then explained that non devotees can become enlightened by association of great souls.  In his reply he said that Vrtrasura, in his previous birth, associated with Narada Muni and other great devotees.  That one attains knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by associating with His devotees is also explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.5.32):

          "Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaishnava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for his uncommon activities.  Only by becoming Krishna consciousness and taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord in this way can on be freed from material contamination."*

9        That one becomes enlightened by associating with a great devotee, who is a pure carrier of the Lord's mercy, is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.18.13):

10      "The value of a moment's association with the devotee of the Lord cannot even be compared to the attainment of heavenly planets or liberation from matter, and what to speak of worldly benedictions in the form of material prosperity, which are for those who are meant for death."*

11      To be freed from the influence of the three modes of material nature is best, so therefore association with a devotee who is free from the influence of the modes is the best kind of association with a devotee.

          In Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.1.1., King Pariksit asks the following question:

          "My dear brahmana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, being everyone's well-wisher is equal and extremely dear to everyone.  How, then, did He become partial like a common man for the sake of Indra and thus kill Indra's enemies?  How can a person equal to everyone be partial to some and inimical toward others?"*

12      The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not give His real mercy to the demigods and others still under the spell of the three modes of material nature.  He gives His real mercy only to the great souls, such as Prahlada, who are free from the spell of the modes.  By associating with such devotees one also becomes free from the spell of the three modes of nature.  When one has thus shaken off the influence of the modes, he can engage in real devotional service.  This is described by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself in these words spoken to Uddhava (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.25.33):

13      "Therefore, having achieved this human form of life, which allows one to develop full knowledge, those who are intelligent should free themselves from all contamination of the modes of nature and engage exclusively in loving service to Me."***

14      The assertion that knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is "nirguna" should be understood in the secondary sense of "free from the influence of the three  modes of material nature" and not in the primary sense of "not having any qualities".  The impersonal conception of God imagines that God has no qualities.  This idea is "nirguna" in the primary sense.  The personal and impersonal ideas of God are both nirguna, but it is the personal idea of God that is nirguna in the sense of being free from the three modes of material nature.  Indeed, the impersonal idea of God is a product of the material mode of goodness and the personal idea of God is free from the spell of the modes as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself explains in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.25.29):

15      Happiness derived from the impersonal idea of God is in the mode of goodness, happiness based on sense gratification is in the mode of passion, and happiness based on delusion and degradation is in the mode of ignorance.  But that happiness found within Me is transcendental."

16      In this way Shrimad Bhagavatam explains that the happiness of serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead is transcendental and free from the influence of the three modes of material nature.  Therefore devotional service, which has many activities, beginning with hearing about the Lord, is beyond the modes of material nature.

17      The devotional activity of hearing about the Lord's glories is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.16):

          "O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done.  By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva."*

18      It was previously explained that association with great souls frees one from the spell of the three modes of material nature.  Here it is said that by serving these great souls one develops an affinity for hearing about the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  From this it may be understood that the activity of hearing the Lord's glories is also beyond the spell of the three modes of material nature.

19      That hearing the glories of the Lord is a transcendental activity beyond the spell of the three modes of material nature is confirmed by the Lord Himself in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.24.38):

          "You will be thoroughly advised and favoured by Me, and because of your inquiries, everything about My glories, which are known as param brahma, will be manifest within your heart.  Thus you will know everything about Me."*

20      In these words Lord Matsyadeva explains that knowledge of Brahman (param brahma) is attained by the mercy of the Lord.  Here someone may ask: "How can knowledge of Brahman describe various qualities, since Brahman has no qualities?  The answer is given:  There are two kinds of Brahman knowledge.  One kind, the knowledge attained by the Lord's devotees, comes by the Lord's mercy, the other kind, the knowledge attained by the worshippers of  impersonal Brahman, comes independently, without the Lord's direct mercy.  Therefore the spiritual knowledge attained by the devotees in their practice of devotional service, which is manifested by the Lord's transcendental potency, is filled with spiritual variety.

21      That the spiritual knowledge of the devotees is superior to the knowledge of the impersonalists is confirmed by the Lord Himself in the following words of Shri Bhagavad-gita (18.54):

          "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realises the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful.  He never laments or desires to have anything.  He is equally disposed toward every living entity.  In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me."*

22      The superiority of devotional service to the Lord is also confirmed by these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.7.10):

          "All different varieties of atmaramas (those who take pleasure in atma, or spirit self), especially those established on the path of self-realisation, though freed from all kinds of material bondage, desire to render unalloyed devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead.  This means that the Lord possesses transcendental qualities and therefore can attract everyone, including liberated souls."*

23      The worshippers of Brahman attain a liberation that is without any variety.  They who understand the real nature of the Absolute do not think very highly of this kind of liberation.  They reject it.  This is described in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.15.48):

          "Persons who are very expert and most intelligent in understanding things as they are engage in hearing narrations of the auspicious activities and pastimes of the Lord, which are worth chanting and worth hearing.  Such persons do not care even for the highest material benediction, namely liberation, to say nothing or other less important benedictions like the material happiness of the heavenly kingdom."*

24      Devotional service is the opposite of impersonal liberation.  Indeed, for one who has attained even the dim reflection of the Lord's mercy impersonal liberation is like hell.  This is confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.17.28):

          "Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, never fear any condition of life.  For them the heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord."*

25      Although an impersonalist may think it is the mercy of the Absolute, impersonal liberation is only a figment of the impersonalist's imagination.  Because it comes from the imagination it is actually a product of the three modes of material nature, and because it is a product of the three modes of material nature it eventually leads to another birth in the material world.

26      Someone may ask: "The internal and external senses of the living entity are products of the three modes of material nature.  How can the knowledge and activities that come from these two sets of senses ever be free from the grip of the three modes?"

          The answer may be given: The power from which knowledge and action come is not material and not a product of the three modes.  Because the individual spirit soul is not the most important, because he is in truth a potency subordinate to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and because he is like an empty vessel that cannot act unless filled with the potency of the Lord, it is the Supreme Lord alone that enables the senses to act.

27      This is confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.26.24):

          "As iron has the power to burn when made red-hot in the association of fire, so the body, senses, living force, mind and intelligence, although merely lumps of matter, can function in their activities when infused with a particle of consciousness by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  As iron cannot burn unless heated by fire, the bodily senses cannot act unless favoured by the Supreme Brahman."*

28      This is also confirmed by the Sruti-sastra (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 4.4.18) in these words:

          "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the breathing power of the breath.  He is the seeing power of the eyes.  He is the hearing power of the ears.  He is the thinking power of the mind."

29      The Rg Veda also explains:

          "Nothing happens without the sanction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

30      When one performs activities to attain a goal that is within the realm of the three modes, then his activities are within the realm of the modes.  However, when one performs activities to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then his activities are beyond the realm of the modes of material nature.  This is confirmed by Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami in the following words from the Devamrta-pana chapter of Shrimad Bhagavatam (8..9.29):

31      "In human society there are various activities performed for the protection of one's wealth and life by one's words, one's mind and one's actions, but they are all performed for one's personal or extended sense gratification with reference to the body.  All these activities are baffled because of being separate from devotional service.  But when the same activities are performed for the satisfaction of the Lord, the beneficial results are distributed to everyone, just as water poured on the root of a tree is distributed throughout the entire tree."*

32      Here the word "prthaktvat" means "by taking shelter of someone other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and the word "aprthaktvat" means "by taking shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."  That is the meaning.  When knowledge and activities are employed in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead they become spiritual and beyond the touch of the three modes of material nature, and by performing such activities one becomes free from having to take another birth in the material world of birth and death.  The so-called knowledge of the impersonalists, however, because it is not employed in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, inevitably leads one to another birth in the material world.  The qualities of devotional service, which begin with its ability to please the Lord, will be described later in this book.  In the third canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam, Lord Kapiladeva described devotional service as being either free from the modes of nature, or within the realm of the modes of nature, all according to whether the heart of the devotee is free from the modes or still under their spell.

Anuccheda 135

1        In this way its seen that knowledge in devotional service and the activities of devotional service, such as hearing and chanting the Lord's glories, are beyond the touch of the material modes of nature.  In the same way residence in the Lord's temple is also beyond the modes.  The Lord Himself confirms this in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.25.25):

2        "Residence in the forest is in the mode of goodness, residence in a town is in the mode of passion, residence in a gambling house displays the quality of ignorance, and residence in a place where I reside is transcendental, beyond the modes of nature."

3        In this verse the words "vanam vasah" mean "residence in the forest", "gramyah" means "residence among householders", and "tamasam" means "residence among sinful people".  The word "dyuta-sadanam" (gambling house) is here given as an example of one among many kinds of sinful places.  "Man-niketam" means "a place where they who are devoted to serving Me stay".  The word "vasah" refers to all the different places here, beginning with the forest.  This sentence is thus like the sentence "ayur ghrtam".

4        A forest, a place where there are many trees and almost no people, is primarily in the mode of goodness, although traces of passion and ignorance may be present.  Because residence in a forest is originally manifested from the mode of goodness, and because by residing in a forest one becomes more strongly situated in the mode of goodness, it is right to say that the mode of goodness is prominent in the forest.

          The word "gramyah" is formed by adding a taddhita affix to the word "grama".  The word "dyuta-sadanam" means "residence in a gambling house".  The word "man-niketam" refers to any place where the Supreme Lord is glorified.  Such a place becomes free from the touch of the modes of material nature just as an ordinary object becomes gold by contact with a sparsamani jewel.

5        If one has eyes spiritualised with devotion for the Lord he can see that a place where the Lord is glorified is beyond the modes of material nature.  The scriptures explain:

          "When the demigods look at the devotees worshipping the Lord in the temple, they see a host of four-armed residents of Vaikuntha."

          The commentator explains:

          "This means that, because the Lord is personally present in His temple, the temple is beyond the touch of the three modes of material nature."

Anuccheda 136        

1        As different residences are situated in the different modes, so different activities are also situated in the different modes.  The Supreme Personality of Godhead explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.25.26):

2        "A worker free of attachment is in the mode of goodness, a worker blinded by personal desire is in the mode of passion, and a worker who has completely forgotten how to tell right from wrong is in the mode of ignorance.  But a worker who has taken shelter of Me is understood to be transcendental to the modes of nature."***

3        The meaning here is that a worker who does not take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead remains under the spell of the three modes of material nature.  His body and everything else are under the spell of the three modes.

Anuccheda 137

1        As different activities are situated in the different modes, so different kinds of faith in various activities are also situated in the different modes.  The Supreme Personality of Godhead explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.25.27):

2        "Faith directed toward spiritual life is in the mode of goodness, faith rooted in fruitive work is in the mode of passion, faith residing in irreligious activities is in the mode of ignorance, but faith in My devotional service is purely transcendental."***

3        In this verse the word "adharma" means "irreligion".  The remainder of this verse is like the previous verses.  The verse quoted in this anuccheda was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Anuccheda 138

1        That devotional service is above the three modes of material nature is also confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.2.24):

          "After hearing the discourses between the Yamadutas and the Vishnudutas, Ajamila could understand the religious principles that act under the three modes of material nature.  These principles are mentioned in the three Vedas.  He could also understand the transcendental religious principles, which are above the modes of material nature and which concern the relationship between the living being and the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "In this verse the word 'suddham' means 'beyond the three modes of material nature' and 'traivedyam' means 'the religious principles described in the three Vedas'.  These religious principles are described as being 'gunasrayam', or 'within the realm of the three modes of material nature.'"

3        The Vedas described here are the karma kanda portion of the Vedas.  This portion of the Vedas is described by the following words of Shri Bhagavad-gita (9.21):

          "When they have thus enjoyed vast heavenly sense pleasure and the results of their pious activities are exhausted, they return to this mortal planet again.  Thus those who seek sense enjoyment by adhering to the principles of the three Vedas achieve only repeated birth and death."*

          The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami.

Anuccheda 139

1        That devotional service is the Lord's potency and that it is self-manifest is confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.14.45):

2        "Even though in the body of a deer, Maharaja Bharata did not forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  Therefore when he was giving up the body of a deer, he loudly uttered the following prayer:  The Supreme Personality of Godhead is sacrifice personified.  He gives the results of ritualistic activity.  He is the protector of religious systems, the personification of mystic yoga, the source of all knowledge, the controller of the entire creation, and the Supersoul in every living entity.  He is beautiful and attractive.  I am quitting this body offering obeisances unto Him and hoping, that I may perpetually engage in His transcendental loving service."  Uttering this, Maharaja Bharata left his body."*

3        The word "yah" here refers to Bharata, the son of Lord Rsabhadeva.  Even though he was in the body of a deer, at the time of death he was able to speak this prayer.  Although it is not ordinarily possible for a deer to speak in this way, because devotional service is self-manifest, the service of glorifying the Lord appeared to Bharata in this way.  The same thing happened to the elephant Gajendra.

Anuccheda 140

1        That devotional service brings great happiness to they who directly engage in it is explained in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.22):

          "Certainly, therefore, since time immemorial, all transcendentalists have been rendering devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, with great delight, because such devotional service is enlivening to the self."*

2        That devotional service brings great happiness even to they who do not directly engage in it is explained in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.22):

          "We have just begun the performance of this fruitive activity, a sacrificial fire, without certainty of its result due to the many imperfections in our action.  Our bodies have become black from the smoke, but we are factually pleased by the nectar of the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, Govinda, which you are distributing."*

3        The Lord Himself describes the happiness of devotional service in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 9.4.67):

          "My devotees who are always satisfied to be engaged in My loving service, are not interested even in the four principles of liberation (salokya, sarupya, samipya and sarsti), although these are automatically achieved by their service.  What then is to be said of such perishable happiness as elevation to the higher planetary systems?"*

4        This statement,, that the devotees are not interested in perishable material happinesses, proves that devotional service is above the modes of material nature.  This verse says that the devotees are not interested even in the four kinds of liberation, which begin with salokya-mukti, so how can they be interested in perishable material happinesses, which will certainly be destroyed in the course of time?

          This verse was spoken by Lord Vishnu to Durvasa Muni.

Anuccheda 141

1        That devotional service makes on fall in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.7.33):

          "By these activities (as mentioned above) one is able to cut down the influence of the enemies, namely, lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness, and jealousy, and when thus situated, one can render service to the Lord.  In this way one surely attains the platform of loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

2        The exalted nature of the devotees' love is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.6.18):

          "My dear King, the Supreme Person, Mukunda, is actually the maintainer of all the members of the Pandava and Yadu dynasties.  He is your spiritual master, worshipable Deity, friend, and the director of your activities.  To say nothing of this, He sometimes serves your family as a messenger or servant.  This means He worked just as ordinary servants do.  Those engaged in getting the Lord's favour attain liberation from the Lord very easily, but He does not very easily give the opportunity to render direct service unto Him."*

3        Someone may worry, "No one will ever attain real love for the Lord."  To answer this worry, this verse says, "The Supreme Personality of Godhead sometimes gives love for Him, love that is called bhakti-yoga".  Here the word "karhicit" means "sometimes".  The Amara-kosa dictionary explains, "The affixes cit and cana are employed to limit the scope of the preceding word."

4        Finally, after the devotee endeavours for a long time, the Lord gives pure love for Him.  This is explained in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.19.27):

          "The Supreme Personality of Godhead fulfils the material desires of a devotee who approaches Him with such motives, but He does not bestow benedictions upon the devotee that will cause him to demand more benedictions again.  However, the Lord willingly gives the devotee shelter at His own lotus feet, even though such a person does not aspire for it, and that shelter satisfies all his desires.  That is the Supreme Personality of Godhead's special mercy."*

5        That one can please the Supreme Personality of Godhead only by loving and serving Him is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.7.51):

          "My dear friends, O sons of the demons, you cannot please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by becoming perfect brahmanas, demigods or great saints or by becoming perfectly good in etiquette or vast learning.  None of these qualifications can awaken the pleasure of the Lord.  Nor by charity, austerity, sacrifice, cleanliness or vows can one satisfy the Lord.  The Lord is pleased only if one has unflinching, unalloyed devotion to Him.  Without sincere devotional service, everything is simply a show."*

6        That one can please the Supreme Personality of Godhead only by loving devotional service is again confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.9.9.):

          "Prahlada Maharaja continued: One may possess wealth, an aristocratic family, beauty, austerity, education, sensory expertise, lustre, influence physical strength, diligence, intelligence, and mystic power, but I think that even by all these qualifications one cannot satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  However, one can satisfy the Lord simply by devotional service.  Gajendra did this, and thus the Lord was satisfied with him."*

7        In this verse the word "abhijana" means "birth in an aristocratic family", "buddhi" means "intelligence", and "yoga" means "astanga-yoga".  This verse is spoken by Prahlada Maharaja to Lord Nrsimhadeva.

Anuccheda 142

1        Here someone may ask: "If the Supreme Personality of Godhead already possesses all happiness, then how is it possible for Him to find more happiness in the devotees' service?  He already has all happiness.  The idea that he can obtain more happiness contradicts the idea that He eternally has all happiness already."

          Here the answer is given: The Vedic literatures certainly support the idea that He finds more happiness in the devotees' service.  Here the explanation is given.  The all-blissful Supreme Personality of Godhead has a potency, called hladini-sakti, that manifests His transcendental bliss.  He places this potency among His devotes and when they service Him it is this potency that pleases Him.  In this way the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who already has all pleasure, is pleased by devotional service.  This is confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.15.13):

2        "When the Supreme Lord is pleased by a person's actions, automatically all the demigods, human beings, animals, birds, bees, creepers, trees, grass and all other living entities, beginning with Lord Brahma are pleased.  The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Supersoul of everyone, and He is by nature fully pleased.  Nonetheless, He came to the arena of Maharaja Gaya and said, 'I am full pleased'."*

3        In this verse the word "visva-jivah" means "He who gives life to all living beings."  The compound word beginning with "deva" is in the singular because it is a dvandva-samasa.  The word "pritih" means "happiness".  This verse was spoken by Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami.

Anuccheda 143

1        Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is thus always happy in Himself and because His desires are always fulfilled, He is pleased by even the smallest offering.  The following example is given in Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.11.4-5):

2        "The citizens arrived before the Lord with their respective presentations, offering them to the fully satisfied and self-sufficient one, who, by, by His own potency, incessantly supplies others.  These presentations were like the offering of a lamp to the sun.  Yet the citizens began to speak in ecstatic language to receive the Lord, just as wards welcome their guardian and father."*

3        In this verse the word "tatra" means "in Dvaraka", and the phrase "raver dipam" means "the offering of a lamp to the sun."  The people worshipped (adrtah) the Lord in that way.  That is the meaning.  The phrase beginning with the word "priti" explains how the people were able to please the Lord with their prayers and various offerings.  Here is given the example of children (arbhakah) approaching their father (pitaram).  The word "priti" here means "extraordinary happiness and love."  The Lord is here described as  "sarva-suhrdam" (the friend and well wisher of all).  Because He is everyone's friend, He is also everyone's protector (avitaram).

4        Although He is always satisfied and happy in Himself, and although His desires are always fulfilled, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is nevertheless pleased by His devotees as a proud and loving father is pleased by His children.  That is the meaning.  He is merciful to His devotees and He fulfils their desires as if He were a kalpa-vrksa tree.  He naturally loves His devotees, they naturally worship Him and offer prayers to Him, and He reciprocates by giving them appropriate gifts in return.  In this way, even though He is naturally filled with all bliss, the Supreme Personality of Godhead still finds happiness in the devotional service offered by His devotees.  This verse was spoken by Shrila Suta Gosvami.

Anuccheda 144

1        The devotion that the devotees feel for the Lord is actually a potency of the Lord Himself.  The Lord himself is the original cause of that devotion.  The Lord Himself is thus present in the activities of devotional service performed by the devotee's limbs and senses.  The devotee's activities of devotional service are thus a reflection of the Lord's potency of devotional service.  In this way the power of the Lord's mercy is the actual cause of the devotee's love for the Lord.

          That the Lord Himself is the cause of the activities of devotional service performed by the limbs and senses is confirmed by the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.8.40):

2        "O Almighty Lord, how can I possibly describe You?  You awaken the vital air, which then impels the minds, senses and power of speech to act.  This is true for all ordinary conditioned souls and even for great demigods like Brahma and Siva.  So it is certainly true for me.  Nevertheless, You become the intimate friend of those who worship You."***

3        In this verse the words "O Almighty Lord, how can I possibly describe You?" mean "How can I possibly describe even a small portion of Your mercy?"  This is so because You (tvaya) awaken (udiritah) the vital air (asuh) and when it is set in motion (samspandate), power of speech (vak) and the mind and senses follow (tam anu)."  The word "vai" (certainly) indicates that the Lord is both the direct and indirect cause of the senses' actions.  This is confirmed by the following words (Shri Brhad aranyaka Upanisad 4.4.18):

          "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the breathing power of the breath.  He is the seeing power of the eyes.  He is the hearing power of the ears.  He is the thinking power of the mind."

          This is true not only for ordinary living entities, but even for the great demigods Brahma and Siva (aja-sarvayoh).  Therefore the speaker of this verse (Markandeya Muni) says, "It is certainly also true for me (svasya)."

          Although no one is ever really independent, the devotees voluntarily allow the Lord to control their speech and other limbs and senses, and thus they become like puppets in His hands.  The verse there says, "O Lord, because they love (bhava) You with a love that is Your own gift to them, You become (asi) the devotees' intimate friend (bandhuh)." 

          This verse was spoken by Markandeya Muni to Shri Nara-Narayana Rsis.

Anuccheda 145

1        That devotional service, and nothing else, enables one to directly see the Supreme Personality of Godhead is explained in the following words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.8.36):

2        "O Krishna, those who continuously hear, chant and repeat Your transcendental activities, or take pleasure in others' doing so, certainly see Your lotus feet, which alone can stop the repetition of birth and death."*

3        The meaning of this verse is clear.  It was spoken by Shri Kunti-devi to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Anuccheda 146

1        That by engaging in devotional service one attains the Lord's association is explained in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.18.45):

          "My dear Uddhava, I am the Supreme Lord of all worlds, and I create and destroy this universe, being its ultimate cause.  I am thus the Absolute Truth, and one who worships Me with unfailing devotional service comes to Me."***

2        Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

          "That Shri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead is confirmed by the words 'sarvotpatty-apyayam', which means 'the creator and destroyer of all the material worlds'.  'Ma' means 'Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the cause of everything, who has a spiritual form and who resides in Vaikuntha', 'brahma-karanam' means 'the author of the Vedas', and 'upayati' means 'comes near'."

3        That by engaging in devotional service one attains the Lord's association is also explained in these words (Shri Bhagavad-gita 8.22):

          "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is greater than all, is attainable by unalloyed devotion.  Although He is present in His abode, He is all-pervading, and everything is situated within Him."*

Anuccheda 147

1        Devotional service is rewarded with a gift far beyond the power of the devotee's mind to understand.  Dhruva Maharaja, was given his own spiritual planet Dhruvaloka as a reward for his service, is the proof of this.

          By engaging in devotional service, the devotee turns the Lord into a submissive servant.  The Lord Himself explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.20):

          "My dear Uddhava, neither through astanga-yoga (the mystic yoga system to control the senses), nor through impersonal monism or an analytical study of the Absolute Truth, nor through study of the Vedas, nor through practice of austerities, nor through charity, nor through acceptance of sannyasa can one satisfy Me as much as one can by developing unalloyed devotional service unto Me."*

2        After speaking that verse, the Lord explains (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.21):

          "Being very dear to the devotees and sadhus, I am attained through unflinching faith and devotional service.  This bhakti-yoga system, which gradually increases attachment for Me, purifies even a human being born among dogeaters.  That is to say, everyone can be elevated to the spiritual platform by the process of bhakti-yoga."*

3        Although these verses from Shrimad Bhagavatam Canto Eleven Chapter Fourteen do not clearly single out either sadhana-bhakti (the beginning stage of devotional service) or sadhya-bhakti (the advanced stage of devotional service), it is clear that the beginning stage is not the best or final feature of devotional service.  Still, because the beginning stage of devotional service gradually leads one to the advanced stage, it is also glorified in these verses.  This is explained in the following question and an answer (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.1):

          "My dear Krishna, the learned sages who explain Vedic literature recommend various processes for protecting one's life.  Considering these varieties of viewpoint, my Lord, please tell me whether all these processes are equally important.  or whether one of them is supreme."*

          The Lord answers (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.26):

          "When a diseased eye is treated with medicinal ointment it gradually recovers its power to see.  Similarly, as a conscious living entity cleanses himself of material contamination by hearing and chanting the pious narrations of My glories, he regains his ability to see Me, the Absolute Truth, in My subtle spiritual form."*

4        The beginning stage of devotional service is clearly glorified in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.18-22):

          "My dear Uddhava, If My devotee has not fully conquered his sense, he may be harassed by material desires, but because of his unflinching devotion for Me, he will not be defeated by sense gratification."***

          "My dear Uddhava, just as a blazing fire turns firewood into ashes, similarly, devotion unto Me completely burns to ashes sins committed by My devotees.***

          "My dear Uddhava, neither through astanga-yoga (the mystic yoga system to control the senses), nor through impersonal monism or an analytical study of the Absolute Truth, nor through study of the Vedas, nor through practice of austerities, nor through charity, nor through acceptance of sannyasa can one satisfy Me as much as one can by developing unalloyed devotional service unto Me."*

          "Being very dear to the devotees and sadhus, I am attained through unflinching faith and devotional service.  This Bhakti-yoga system, which gradually increases attachment to Me, purifies even a human being born among dogeaters.  That is to say, everyone can be elevated to the spiritual platform by the process of bhakti-yoga."*

          "Neither religious activities endowed with honesty and mercy nor knowledge obtained with great penance can completely purify one's consciousness if they are bereft of loving service to Me."***

Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.18 especially describes the beginning stage of devotional service because in the advanced stage a devotee is not agitated by material desires.  The advanced stage is described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.87.35):

          "Sages free from false pride live on this earth by resorting to sacred places of pilgrimage and those districts in which the Supreme Lord has manifested His pastimes.  Because such devotees keep You lotus feet within their hearts, the water that washes their feet destroys all sins.  Everyone who even once turns his mind toward You, the eternally blissful Soul of all existence, ceases from worshipping family life at home, in which a man is simply robbed of his good qualities."***

4        In these words the Vishnu Purana glorifies the advanced stage of devotional service:

          "When Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead enters the heart, everything else becomes insignificant.  What will one attain by running east and west to get this and that?"

6        The advanced stage of devotional service is again described in these words (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.14.23):