|Canto 2: The Cosmic Manifestation||Chapter 3: Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.3.21
bhāraḥ paraḿ paṭṭa-kirīṭa-juṣṭam
apy uttamāńgaḿ na namen mukundam
śāvau karau no kurute saparyāḿ
harer lasat-kāñcana-kańkaṇau vā
bhāraḥ — a great burden; param — heavy; paṭṭa — silk; kirīṭa — turban; juṣṭam — dressed with; api — even; uttama — upper; ańgam — parts of the body; na — never; namet — bow down; mukundam — Lord Kṛṣṇa, the deliverer; śāvau — dead bodies; karau — hands; no — do not; kurute — do; saparyām — worshiping; hareḥ — of the Personality of Godhead; lasat — glittering; kāñcana — made of gold; kańkaṇau — bangles; vā — even though.
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.
As stated hereinbefore, there are three kinds of devotees of the Lord. The first-class devotee does not at all see anyone who is not in the service of the Lord, but the second-class devotee makes distinctions between devotees and nondevotees. The second-class devotees are therefore meant for preaching work, and as referred to in the above verse, they must loudly preach the glories of the Lord. The second-class devotee accepts disciples from the section of third-class devotees or nondevotees. Sometimes the first-class devotee also comes down to the category of the second-class devotee for preaching work. But the common man, who is expected to become at least a third-class devotee, is advised herein to visit the temple of the Lord and bow down before the Deity, even though he may be a very rich man or even a king with a silk turban or crown. The Lord is the Lord of everyone, including the great kings and emperors, and men who are rich in the estimation of mundane people must therefore make it a point to visit the temple of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and regularly bow down before the Deity. The Lord in the temple in the worshipable form is never to be considered to be made of stone or wood, for the Lord in His arcā incarnation as the Deity in the temple shows immense favor to the fallen souls by His auspicious presence. By the hearing process, as mentioned hereinbefore, this realization of the presence of the Lord in the temple is made possible. As such, the first process in the routine work of devotional service — hearing — is the essential point. Hearing by all classes of devotees from the authentic sources like Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is essential. The common man who is puffed up with his material position and does not bow down before the Deity of the Lord in the temple, or who defies temple worship without any knowledge of the science, must know that his so-called turban or crown will only succeed in further drowning him in the water of the ocean of material existence. A drowning man with a heavy weight on his head is sure to go down more swiftly than those who have no heavy weight. A foolish, puffed-up man defies the science of God and says that God has no meaning for him, but when he is in the grip of God's law and is caught by some disease like cerebral thrombosis, that godless man sinks into the ocean of nescience by the weight of his material acquisition. Advancement of material science without God consciousness is a heavy load on the head of human society, and so one must take heed of this great warning.
The common man, if he has no time to worship the Lord, may at least engage his hands for a few seconds in washing or sweeping the Lord's temple. Mahārāja Pratāparudra, the greatly powerful king of Orissa, was always very busy with heavy state responsibilities, yet he made it a point to sweep the temple of Lord Jagannātha at Purī once a year during the festival of the Lord. The idea is that however important a man one may be he must accept the supremacy of the Supreme Lord. This God consciousness will help a man even in his material prosperity. Mahārāja Pratāparudra's subordination before Lord Jagannātha made him a powerful king, so much so that even the great Pathan in his time could not enter into Orissa on account of the powerful Mahārāja Pratāparudra. And at last Mahārāja Pratāparudra was graced by Lord Śrī Caitanya on the very grounds of his acceptance of subordination to the Lord of the universe. So even though a rich man's wife has glittering bangles made of gold on her hands, she must engage herself in rendering service to the Lord.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness