|Canto 2: The Cosmic Manifestation||Chapter 4: The Process of Creation|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.4.16
sańgaḿ vyudasyobhayato 'ntar-ātmanaḥ
vindanti hi brahma-gatiḿ gata-klamās
tasmai subhadra-śravase namo namaḥ
vicakṣaṇāḥ — highly intellectual; yat — whose; caraṇa-upasādanāt — simply dedicating oneself unto the lotus feet; sańgam — attachment; vyudasya — giving up completely; ubhayataḥ — for present and future existence; antaḥ-ātmanaḥ — of the heart and soul; vindanti — moves progressively; hi — certainly; brahma-gatim — toward spiritual existence; gata-klamāḥ — without difficulty; tasmai — unto Him; subhadra — all-auspicious; śravase — unto one who is heard; namaḥ — my due obeisances; namaḥ — again and again.
Let me offer my respectful obeisances again and again unto the all-auspicious Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The highly intellectual, simply by surrendering unto His lotus feet, are relieved of all attachments to present and future existences and without difficulty progress toward spiritual existence.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa has repeatedly instructed Arjuna, or for that matter everyone concerned with becoming His unalloyed devotee. In the last phase of His instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.64-66) He instructed most confidentially as follows:
śṛṇu me paramaḿ vacaḥ
iṣṭo 'si me dṛḍham iti
tato vakṣyāmi te hitam
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te
pratijāne priyo 'si me
mām ekaḿ śaraṇaḿ vraja
ahaḿ tvāḿ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
"My dear Arjuna, you are very dear to Me, and therefore only for your good I will disclose the most secret part of My instructions. It is simply this: become a pure devotee of Mine and give yourself unto Me only, and I promise you full spiritual existence, by which you may gain the eternal right of transcendental loving service unto Me. Just give up all other ways of religiosity and exclusively surrender unto Me and believe that I will protect you from your sinful acts, and I shall deliver you. Do not worry any more."
Persons who are intelligent take serious notice of this last instruction of the Lord. Knowledge of the self is the first step in spiritual realization, which is called confidential knowledge, and a step further is God realization, which is called more confidential knowledge. The culmination of the knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā is God realization, and when one attains this stage of God realization, he naturally, voluntarily becomes a devotee of the Lord to render Him loving transcendental service. This devotional service to the Lord is always based on love of God and is distinct from the nature of routine service as prescribed in karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga or dhyāna-yoga. In the Bhagavad-gītā there are different instructions for such men of different categories, and there are various descriptions for varṇāśrama-dharma, sannyāsa-dharma, yati-dharma, the renounced order of life, controlling the senses, meditation, perfection of mystic powers, etc., but one who fully surrenders unto the Lord to render service unto Him, out of spontaneous love for Him, factually assimilates the essence of all knowledge described in the Vedas. One who adopts this method very skillfully attains perfection of life at once. And this perfection of human life is called brahma-gati, or the progressive march in spiritual existence. As enunciated by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī on the basis of Vedic assurances, brahma-gati means to attain a spiritual form as good as that of the Lord, and in that form the liberated living being eternally lives on one of the spiritual planets situated in the spiritual sky. Attainment of this perfection of life is easily available to a pure devotee of the Lord without his undergoing any difficult method of perfection. Such a devotional life is full of kīrtanam, smaraṇam, īkṣaṇam, etc., as mentioned in the previous verse. One must therefore adopt this simple way of devotional life in order to attain the highest perfection available in any category of the human form of life in any part of the world. When Lord Brahmā met Lord Kṛṣṇa as a playful child at Vṛndāvana, he offered his prayer in which he said:
śreyaḥ-sṛtiḿ bhaktim udasya te vibho
kliśyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye
teṣām asau kleśala eva śiṣyate
nānyad yathā sthūla-tuṣāvaghātinām
Bhakti-yoga is the highest quality of perfection to be achieved by the intelligent person in lieu of performing a large quantity of spiritual activities. The example cited here is very appropriate. A handful of real paddy is more valuable than heaps of paddy skins without any substance within. Similarly, one should not be attracted by the jugglery of karma-kāṇḍa or jñāna-kāṇḍa or even the gymnastic performances of yoga, but skillfully should take to the simple performances of kīrtanam, smaraṇam, etc., under a bona fide spiritual master, and without any difficulty attain the highest perfection.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness