Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 7: Lord Kṛṣṇa Instructs Uddhava

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.7.11


niṣedhān na nivartate

guṇa-buddhyā ca vihitaḿ

na karoti yathārbhakaḥ


doṣa-buddhyā — because of thinking that such action is wrong; ubhaya-atītaḥ — one who has transcended both (the conceptions of mundane right and wrong); niṣedhāt — from what is forbidden; na nivartatehe does not desist; guṇa-buddhyā — because of thinking it is good; ca — also; vihitam — what is enjoined; na karotihe does not do; yathā — just like; arbhakaḥa young child.


One who has transcended material good and evil automatically acts in accordance with religious injunctions and avoids forbidden activities. The self-realized person does this spontaneously, like an innocent child, and not because he is thinking in terms of material good and evil.


One who has developed transcendental knowledge never acts whimsically. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī describes two stages of devotional service: sādhana-bhakti and rāgānugā-bhakti. Rāgānugā-bhakti is the stage of spontaneous love of Godhead, whereas sādhana-bhakti means the conscientious practice of the regulative principles of devotional service. In most cases, one who is now enjoying transcendental consciousness has rigidly practiced the rules and regulations of devotional service. Thus, due to previous practice, one spontaneously avoids sinful life and acts in accordance with the standards of ordinary piety. This does not mean that a self-realized soul is consciously avoiding sin and pursuing piety. Rather, due to his self-realized nature, he spontaneously engages in the most exalted spiritual activities, just as an innocent child may spontaneously exhibit good qualities such as kindness, tolerance, and so on. The spiritual platform is called śuddha-sattva, or purified goodness, to distinguish it from the material mode of goodness, which is always to some extent polluted by the lower modes of passion and ignorance. Thus if a man in material goodness appears to be most pious in the eyes of the world, we can only imagine the spotless character of a self-realized soul in purified spiritual goodness. Therefore it is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.18.12):

yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā

sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ

harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā

mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ

If one is a pure devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, he will automatically exhibit all the exalted qualities of the demigods. Such manifestation of purity is spontaneous, as explained in this verse.

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