Srimad BhagavatamCanto 1 Chapter 5 Text 16-19 THE PRIME DUTY
TEXT 16 vicakṣaṇo ’syārhati vedituṁ vibhor ananta-pārasya nivṛttitaḥ sukham pravartamānasya guṇair anātmanas tato bhavān darśaya ceṣṭitaṁ vibhoḥ The Supreme Lord is unlimited. Only a very expert personality, retired from the activities of material happiness, deserves to understand this knowledge of spiritual values. Therefore those who are not so well situated, due to material attachment, should be shown the ways of transcendental realization, by Your Goodness, through descriptions of the transcendental activities of the Supreme Lord.
Theological science is not a subject matter to be understood by persons who are too much attached to material activities. • Retirement from materialistic activities is needed. • Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the topmost theological science, and therefore it can react on the laymen as medicinal doses. • It contains the transcendental activities of the Lord, therefore there is no difference between the Lord and the literature. • Transcendental activities of the devotees for the service of the Lord can bring a new order of life to the foolish society of materialistic men. • Lord ŚrīCaitanyaMahāprabhu and His subsequent followers exhibited expert dexterity in this connection
TEXT 17 tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ harer bhajann apakvo ’tha patet tato yadi yatra kva vābhadram abhūd amuṣya kiṁ ko vārtha āpto ’bhajatāṁ sva-dharmataḥ One who has forsaken his material occupations to engage in the devotional service of the Lord may sometimes fall down while in an immature stage, yet there is no danger of his being unsuccessful. On the other hand, a nondevotee, though fully engaged in occupational duties, does not gain anything.
It is enjoined in the scriptures that one can relinquish all his duties and surrender unto the service of the Lord. • But it so happens sometimes that one surrenders himself unto the service of the Lord by some temporary sentiment, and in the long run, due to so many other reasons, he falls down from the path of service by undesirable association. • E.g.: 1. BharataMaharaj, King Chitraketu • Even if there is a chance of falling down, the stress is given here to surrendering unto the lotus feet of the Lord. • In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that even a small quantity of devotional service can save one from the most dangerous position. BG: 2.40 • There are many instances of such examples in history. Ajāmila is one of them. Ajāmila in his early life was a devotee, but in his youth he fell down. Still he was saved by the Lord at the end.
TEXT 18 tasyaivahetoḥprayatetakovido nalabhyateyadbhramatāmuparyadhaḥ tallabhyateduḥkhavadanyataḥsukhaṁ kālenasarvatragabhīra-raṁhasā Persons who are actually intelligent and philosophically inclined should endeavor only for that purposeful end which is not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet [Brahmaloka] down to the lowest planet [Pātāla]. As far as happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned, it can be obtained automatically in course of time, just as in course of time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire them.
Every man everywhere is trying to obtain the greatest amount of sense enjoyment by various endeavors. And there are various programs for sense enjoyment, either during this life or in the life after death. • By the law of the Supreme, different places are meant for different grades of living beings according to the work they have performed. • The positions in the topmost Brahmaloka and in the lowest Pātāla are also changeable according to our own work. • Miseries and mixed happiness are two features of material life. • No one is free from the miseries of birth, death, old age and disease. Similarly, everyone has his destined happiness also. • No one can get more or less of these things simply by personal endeavors. One should not, therefore, waste time with these flimsy things; one should only endeavor to go back to Godhead.
TEXT 19 na vai jano jātu kathañcanāvrajen mukunda-sevy anyavad aṅga saṁsṛtim smaran mukundāṅghry-upagūhanaṁ punar vihātum icchen na rasa-graho janaḥ My dear Vyāsa, even though a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes falls down somehow or other, he certainly does not undergo material existence like others [fruitive workers, etc.] because a person who has once relished the taste of the lotus feet of the Lord can do nothing but remember that ecstasy again and again.
Even though a devotee falls down, a devotee is never to be considered the same as a fallen karmī. • A karmī suffers the result of his own fruitive reactions, whereas a devotee is reformed by chastisement directed by the Lord Himself. • A neophyte devotee foolishly thinks of accumulating some material power in exchange for devotional service. Such foolish devotees are sometimes put into difficulty by the Lord Himself. • The devotee who becomes helpless by the will of the Lord is more fortunate than those who are born in good families. Because he swiftly returns to the lotus feet of the Lord, thinking himself helpless all around. • A pure devotee continuously remembers the lotus feet of Lord ŚrīKṛṣṇa and does not forget Him even for a moment, not even in exchange for all the opulence of the three worlds.