|Chapter 1: The Value of Devotion|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Nārada Bhakti Sūtra 4
yal labdhvā pumān siddho bhavaty amṛto bhavati tṛpto bhavati
yat — which; labdhvā — having gained; pumān — a person; siddhaḥ — perfect; bhavati — becomes; amṛtaḥ — immortal; bhavati — becomes; tṛptaḥ — peaceful; bhavati — becomes.
Upon achieving that stage of transcendental devotional service in pure love of God, a person becomes perfect, immortal, and peaceful.
The part-and-parcel living entities are entangled in the conditioned life of material existence. Because of their diverse activities they are wandering all over the universe, transmigrating from one body to another and undergoing various miseries. But when a fortunate living entity somehow comes in contact with a pure devotee of the Lord and engages in devotional service, he enters upon the path of perfection. If someone engages in devotional service in all seriousness, the Lord instructs him in two ways — through the pure devotee and from within — so that he can advance in devotional service. By cultivating such devotional service, he becomes perfect.
Lord Kṛṣṇa describes this form of complete perfection in the Bhagavad-gītā (8.15):
mām upetya punar janma duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ saḿsiddhiḿ paramāḿ gatāḥ
"The great souls who engage in My devotional service attain Me, the Supreme Lord, and do not come back to this miserable material life, for they have attained the highest perfection." Both while in the material body and after giving it up, a devotee attains the highest perfection in service to the Lord. As long as a devotee is in his material body, his probational activities in devotional service prepare him for being transferred to the Lord's supreme abode. Only those who are one hundred percent engaged in devotional service can achieve this perfection.
In material, conditioned life a person always feels the full miseries caused by the transmigration of the soul from body to body. Before taking birth, he undergoes the miseries of living in the womb of his mother, and when he comes out he lives for a certain period and then again has to die and enter a mother's womb. But one who attains the highest perfection goes back to Godhead after leaving his present body. Once there, he doesn't have to come back to this material world and transmigrate from one body to another. That transfer to the spiritual world is the highest perfection of life. In other words, the devotee achieves his constitutional position of immortality and thus becomes completely peaceful.
Until a person achieves this perfection, he cannot be peaceful. He may artificially think he is one with the Supreme, but actually he is not; therefore, he has no peace. Similarly, someone may aspire for one of the eight yogic perfections in the mystic yoga process, such as to become the smallest, to become the heaviest, or to acquire anything he desires, but these achievements are material; they are not perfection. Perfection means to regain one's original spiritual form and engage in the loving service of the Lord. The living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, and if he performs the duties of the part and parcel, without proudly thinking he is one in all respects with the Supreme Lord, he attains real perfection and becomes peaceful.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari