How much a devotee is seriously attached to the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be understood from the statement of Mahārāja Pṛthu (Ādi-rāja) which is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Fourth Canto, Twentieth Chapter, verse 24. He prays to the Supreme Personality of Godhead thus: "My dear Lord, if after taking liberation I have no chance of hearing the glories of Your Lordship, glories chanted by pure devotees from the core of their hearts in praise of Your lotus feet, and if I have no chance for this honey of transcendental bliss, then I shall never ask for liberation or this so-called spiritual emancipation. I shall simply always pray unto Your Lordship that You may give me millions of tongues and millions of ears, so that I can constantly chant and hear of Your transcendental glories."
The impersonalists desire to merge into the existence of the Supreme, but without keeping their individuality they have no chance of hearing and chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord. Because they have no idea of the transcendental form of the Supreme Lord, there is no chance of their chanting and hearing of His transcendental activities. In other words, unless one is already beyond liberation, one cannot relish the transcendental glories of the Lord, nor can one understand the transcendental form of the Lord.
A similar statement is found in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Fifth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 44. Śukadeva Gosvāmī addresses Parīkṣit Mahārāja there and says, "The great soul King Bharata was so much attached to the service of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa that he very easily gave up his lordship over the earthly planet and his affection for his children, society, friends, royal opulence and beautiful wife. He was so very lucky that the goddess of fortune was pleased to offer him all kinds of material concessions, but he never accepted any of these material opulences." Śukadeva Gosvāmī praises this behavior of King Bharata very highly. He says, "Any person whose heart is attracted by the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Madhusūdana, does not care even for that liberation which is aspired to by many great sages, what to speak of material opulences."
In the Bhāgavatam, Sixth Canto, Eleventh Chapter, verse 25, there is a similar statement by Vṛtrāsura, who addresses the Lord as follows: "My dear Lord, by leaving Your transcendental service I may be promoted to the planet called Dhruvaloka (the polestar), or I may gain lordship over all the planetary systems of the universe. But I do not aspire to this. Nor do I wish the mystic perfections of yoga practice, nor do I aspire to spiritual emancipation. All I wish for, my Lord, is Your association and transcendental service eternally."
This statement is confirmed by Lord Śiva in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Sixth Canto, Seventeenth Chapter, verse 28, wherein Lord Śiva addresses Satī thus: "My dear Satī, persons who are devoted to Nārāyaṇa (Kṛṣṇa) are not afraid of anything. If they are elevated to the higher planetary systems, or if they get liberation from material contamination, or if they are pushed down to the hellish condition of life—or, in fact, in any situation whatever—they are not afraid of anything. Simply because they have taken shelter of the lotus feet of Nārāyaṇa, for them any position in the material world is as good as another."
There is a similar statement by Indra, the King of heaven, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Sixth Canto, Eighteenth Chapter, verse 74. There Indra addresses mother Diti in this manner: "My dear mother, persons who have given up all kinds of desire and are simply engaged in devotional service to the Lord know what is actually their self-interest. Such persons are actually serving their self-interests and are considered first-class experts in the matter of advancing to the perfectional stage of life."
In the Seventh Canto of the Bhāgavatam, Sixth Chapter, verse 25, Mahārāja Prahlāda says, "My dear friends born into atheistic families, if you can please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, then there is nothing more rare in this world. In other words, if the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa is pleased with you, then any desire you may have within the core of your heart can be fulfilled without any doubt. As such, what is the use of elevating yourself by the results of fruitive activities, which are automatically achieved in all events by the modes of material nature? And what is the use for you of spiritual emancipation or liberation from material bondage? If you are always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord and always relishing the nectar of the lotus feet of the Lord, then there is no necessity for any of these." By this statement of Prahlāda Mahārāja it is clearly understood that one who takes pleasure in chanting and hearing the transcendental glories of the Lord has already surpassed all kinds of material benedictions, including the results of pious fruitive activities, sacrifices and even liberation from material bondage.
Similarly, in the same Seventh Canto, Eighth Chapter, verse 42, when the demigods are offering prayers to Lord Nṛsiṁha, Indra the King of heaven says, "O supreme one, these demons talk of our share of participation in the performances of ritualistic sacrifices, but simply by Your appearance as Lord Nṛsiṁha-deva You have saved us from terrible fears. Actually, our shares in the sacrificial performances are due to You only, because You are the supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices. You are the Supersoul of every living entity, and therefore You are the actual owner of everything. Long were our hearts always filled with fear of this demon, Hiraṇyakaśipu. But You are so kind toward us that by killing him You have removed that fear from within our hearts and have given us the chance to place Your Lordship within our hearts again. For persons who are engaged in the transcendental loving service of Your Lordship, all the opulences which were taken away from us by the demons are counted as nothing. Devotees do not care even for liberation, what to speak of these material opulences. Actually, we are not enjoyers of the fruits of sacrifices. Our only duty is to always be engaged in Your service, for You are the enjoyer of everything."
The purport of this statement by Indra is that beginning from Brahmā down to the insignificant ant, no living entities are meant for enjoying the material opulences. They are simply meant for offering everything to the supreme proprietor, the Personality of Godhead. By doing so, they automatically enjoy the benefit. The example can be cited again of the different parts of the body collecting foodstuffs and cooking them so that ultimately a meal may be offered to the stomach. After it has gone to the stomach, all the parts of the body equally enjoy the benefit of the meal. So, similarly, everyone's duty is to satisfy the Supreme Lord, and then automatically everyone will become satisfied.
A similar verse is found in the Eighth Canto, Third Chapter, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, verse 20. Gajendra says there, "My dear Lord, I have no experience of the transcendental bliss derived from Your devotional service, so therefore I have asked from You some favor. But I know that persons who are pure devotees and have, by serving the lotus feet of great souls, become freed from all material desires, are always merged in the ocean of transcendental bliss and, as such, are always satisfied simply by glorifying Your auspicious characteristics. For them there is nothing else to aspire to or pray for."
In the Ninth Canto of the Bhāgavatam, Fourth Chapter, verse 67, the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha replies to Durvāsā Muni thus: "My pure devotees are always satisfied being engaged in devotional service, and therefore they do not aspire even after the five liberated stages, which are (1) to be one with Me, (2) to achieve residence on My planet, (3) to have My opulences, (4) to possess bodily features similar to Mine and (5) to gain personal association with Me. So when they are not interested even in these liberated positions, you can know how little they care for material opulences or material liberation."
There is a similar prayer by the nāga-patnīs (wives of the Kāliya serpent), in the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Sixteenth Chapter, verse 37. The nāga-patnīs say there, "Dear Lord, the dust of Your lotus feet is very wonderful. Any person who is fortunate enough to achieve this dust does not care for heavenly planets, lordship over all the planetary systems, the mystic perfections of yoga, or even liberation from material existence. In other words, anyone who adores the dust of Your lotus feet does not care a fig for all other perfectional stages."