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

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.20.11

asmin loke vartamānaḥ

sva-dharma-stho 'naghaḥ śuciḥ

jñānaḿ viśuddham āpnoti

mad-bhaktiḿ yadṛcchayā


asminin this; loke — world; vartamānaḥ — existing; sva-dharmain one's prescribed duty; sthaḥ — situated; anaghaḥ — free from sinful activities; śuciḥ — cleansed of material contamination; jñānam — knowledge; viśuddham — transcendental; āpnoti — obtains; matto Me; bhaktim — devotional service; — or; yadṛcchayā — according to one's fortune.


One who is situated in his prescribed duty, free from sinful activities and cleansed of material contamination, in this very life obtains transcendental knowledge or, by fortune, devotional service unto Me.


Asmin loke indicates one's present duration of life. Before the death of one's present body one can obtain transcendental knowledge or, by great fortune, pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord. The word yadṛcchayā indicates that if one somehow or other gets the association of pure devotees and hears from them faithfully, one can achieve Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the highest perfection of life. According to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, through transcendental knowledge one obtains liberation, whereas through pure devotional service one can achieve love of Godhead, in which liberation is automatically included. Both results are certainly superior to ordinary, fruitive activities, by which one tries to enjoy much the same things that animals do. If one's devotional service is mixed with a tendency toward fruitive activities or mental speculation, then one may achieve the neutral stage of love of Godhead, whereas those who are inclined to serve only Lord Kṛṣṇa advance to the higher stages of love of Godhead in servitude, friendship, parental love and the conjugal relationship.

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