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Although mental speculators and fruitive actors may perform great austerities and penances, they still fall down because they do not have information about the lotus feet of the Lord

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"Although mental speculators and fruitive actors may perform great austerities and penances, they still fall down because they do not have information about the lotus feet of the Lord"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Instruction

It is further stated in the Seventh Canto: "Although mental speculators and fruitive actors may perform great austerities and penances, they still fall down because they do not have information about the lotus feet of the Lord." The devotees of the Lord, however, never fall down. In Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.31), the Supreme Personality of Godhead assures Arjuna, kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati: "O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.

There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles [such as śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam (SB 7.5.23) — hearing, chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa], (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous ācāryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service.

Engagement in the devotional service of the Lord is the life and soul of the living entity. It is the desired goal and supreme perfection of human life. One has to become confident about this, and one also has to be confident that all activities other than devotional service—such as mental speculation, fruitive work or mystic endeavor—will never yield any enduring benefit. Complete confidence in the path of devotional service will enable one to attain his desired goal, but attempting to follow other paths will only succeed in making one restless. In the Seventh Canto of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated: "One must be calmly convinced that those who have given up devotional service to engage in severe austerities for other purposes are not purified in their minds, despite their advanced austerities, because they have no information of the transcendental loving service of the Lord."

It is further stated in the Seventh Canto: "Although mental speculators and fruitive actors may perform great austerities and penances, they still fall down because they do not have information about the lotus feet of the Lord." The devotees of the Lord, however, never fall down. In Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.31), the Supreme Personality of Godhead assures Arjuna, kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati: "O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes."

Again in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 2.40) Kṛṣṇa says:

nehābhikrama-nāśo 'sti
pratyavāyo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt

"In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear."

Devotional service is so pure and perfect that once having begun, one is forcibly dragged to ultimate success. Sometimes a person will give up his ordinary material engagements and out of sentiment take shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord and thus begin the preliminary execution of devotional service. Even if such an immature devotee falls down, there is no loss on his part. On the other hand, what is the gain of one who executes the prescribed duties according to his varṇa and āśrama but does not take to devotional service? Although a fallen devotee may take his next birth in a low family, his devotional service will nonetheless resume from where it left off. Devotional service is ahaituky apratihatā; it is not the effect of any mundane cause, nor can it be terminated by any mundane cause or permanently curtailed by any material interruption. Therefore a devotee should be confident about his engagement and should not be very interested in the activities of the karmīs, jñānīs and yogīs.