Pradyumna: "Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has also quoted a definition from the Nārada Pañcarātra as follows: 'One should be free from all material designations and must be cleansed of all material contamination by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He should be restored to his pure identity, where he engages his senses in the service of the proprietor of the senses.' So when our senses are engaged for the actual proprietor of the senses, that is called devotional service."
Prabhupāda: Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170). Bhakti, devotional service, does not mean inertness. Not simply sitting down or meditate. It is activity, engaging all the senses. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam. Hṛṣīka means these senses—not these senses, but purified senses. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). Just like pranair arthair dhiyaḥ vaca. Prana, life; artha, riches, money; dhiya, intelligence; and vaca, speeches. So everyone using... Just like for national cause people are engaging life, they are sacrificing life. So many, for attainment of independence in India, so many Indians gave up their life. Pranaiḥ. So many people gave up their everything. We know during national movement, Mr. C. R. Das, a great leader of the Congress group, he sacrificed everything. He was a big, very big lawyer, barrister. He sacrificed his profession, he sacrificed his life—everything. So as we are sacrificing everything for attainment of some so-called national independence, the same thing, if we sacrifice for Kṛṣṇa, then our life becomes successful. Prāṇair arthair dhiyā vācā śreya-ācaraṇaṁ sadā.
So it is not inactivity. Caitanya Mahāprabhu or his followers, they were not inactive. They were acting. This Rūpa Gosvāmī, he was so active that he could not sleep at night even for more than one and one half hour. They retired from the material activities. He was minister. He gave up his job and joined Caitanya Mahāprabhu in old age. He came to Vṛndāvana not to live a retired life, but a very active life.
- nana-śāstra-vicaraṇaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau
- lokanam hita-karinau tri-bhuvane manyau saranyakarau
- vande rupa-sanātana raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau
Here is, sitting, Śrī Gosvāmījī. He's coming from Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. So all these six Gosvāmīs, they were not inactive. They were always active. As we are active in the karma, karmī life, so bhakti life is also activity. It is not sitting down idly or gossiping. One must find out some job to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti life. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam (CC Madhya 19.170). Sevanam means activity. Sevanam does not mean sit down idle, inert. No. As soon as seva... Sevā means activity. One has to preach, one has to write, one has to do this, do that, cook, offer the prasādam, everything. Sevā, activity.
So that activity and karmīs' activity, there is difference. The karmī's activity is on upādhi. "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian." With this upādhi, we are acting. But bhakti means without upādhi. Sarvopādhi-virnirmuktam. Activity without upādhi. Working not as American. Working not as Indian. Working not as Hindu. Working not as Muslim. That is sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). If we think that "I am Christian," "I am Hindu," "I am American," that is with upādhi. When we purely think that "We are...," or "I am servant of Kṛṣṇa. My only business is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa," that activity is called bhakti. If I become interested in some party, that is not... Sometimes people criticize these American and European devotees, that they think that "They are American devotee; we are Hindu devotee. There is difference." This is not bhakti-mārga. This is upādhi. Why you should think yourself as Hindu? Why you should think of others who have come from America as American? That is less intelligent. Kṛṣṇa-bhakta... Vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ. If one thinks of Vaiṣṇava as belonging to this class, this nation, he has no vision. Nārakī. That is called nārakī-buddhiḥ. Vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ arcye śilādhīr guruṣu nara-matir vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ. If we think the Deity as made of stone and made of wood, arcye śilā-dhīr; guruṣu, nara-matiḥ, if we accept spiritual master as ordinary human being; vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ, and if we take a Vaiṣṇava as belonging to America or Europe or India... No. They are transcendental. Neither the Deity in the temple is stone, neither the spiritual master is ordinary human being, nor the Vaiṣṇava belongs to any caste. This vision is perfect vision. When you come to this vision, that is bhakti. Tat-paratvena nirmalam. A bhakta has to become purified. Tat-paratvena, being dovetailed with the service of tat, om tat sat. Tat-param. This is the process of devotional service. One should not be designated "I am this," "I am that," "I am that." No. The world should unite. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice that one should forget that he's Indian or Hindu or Christian or American or Indian. Everything should unite as servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti-mārga. Unfortunately, they distinguish between American Vaiṣṇava and Indian Vaiṣṇava: brāhmaṇa Vaiṣṇava, śūdra Vaiṣṇava. No. A Vaiṣṇava is Vaiṣṇava. Viṣṇur asya devataḥ iti vaiṣṇava. One who has accepted Viṣṇu as "my Lord," he has no designation. A Vaiṣṇava has no such distinction. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170).