Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 20: Pure Devotional Service Surpasses Knowledge and Detachment

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.20.10

sva-dharma-stho yajan yajñair

anāśīḥ-kāma uddhava

na yāti svarga-narakau

yady anyan na samācaret


sva-dharmain one's prescribed duties; sthaḥ — situated; yajan — worshiping; yajñaiḥ — by prescribed sacrifices; anāśīḥ-kāmaḥ — not desiring fruitive results; uddhava — My dear Uddhava; na — does not; yātigo; svargato heaven; narakau — or to hell; yadi — if; anyat — something other than his prescribed duty; na — does not; samācaret — perform.


My dear Uddhava, a person who is situated in his prescribed duty, properly worshiping by Vedic sacrifices but not desiring the fruitive result of such worship, will not go to the heavenly planets; similarly, by not performing forbidden activities he will not go to hell.


The perfection of karma-yoga is described here. One who does not desire fruitive rewards for his religious activities does not waste time going to the heavenly planets for celestial sense gratification. Similarly, one who does not neglect his prescribed duty or perform forbidden activities will not be bothered by going to hell for punishment. Thus avoiding material rewards and punishments, such a desireless person can be promoted to the platform of pure devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa.

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