If I go to serve any office, I am not going to serve that particular person, proprietor of the office, but I require some money—therefore I am serving. So I am serving the money, not the person. Therefore it is said, kāma-lobha. Lobha. We serve the . . . service must be. Kṛṣṇa is the master. Ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa āra saba bhṛtya (CC Adi 5.142). Only master is Kṛṣṇa, and anyone—all demigods or man or animal or trees or anything—they are all servants. This is the position. And when one realizes this position that, "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, particle, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. My duty is to serve Kṛṣṇa," then it is called self-realization. Not that ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I become Bhagavān." How you can become Bhagavān? If you are Bhagavān, if you are actually the supreme powerful, then why you are in miserable condition under māyā? Does Bhagavān comes under māyā? No. Kṛṣṇa says, mama māyā. Māyā is the maidservant of Kṛṣṇa, and we are servant of māyā. So how we can become māyā, uh, Bhagavān? This is common sense. Had I been Bhagavān, then why I have become servant of māyā?
Therefore we are engaged in the service of māyā in so many phases and different names. Somebody's serving country, somebody's serving society, somebody's serving family, office, this, that, so many. This is māyā's service. Now, when we come to our senses that, "I am . . . so long I was engaged in māyā's service. Now I have to engage myself in Kṛṣṇa's service," that is self-realization. That is described here that jñāna-vairāgya-yuktena. Jñāna-vairāgya. This is knowledge, that "I am servant of Kṛṣṇa. I am nobody's servant." This is jñāna. Because I am in illusion, I am, for nothing, without any benefit, I am serving so many . . . kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā pālitā durnideśāḥ. Kāma-lobha. I am serving this kāma, lobha, moha, mātsarya, but without any benefit, without any pleasure. So when we come to this stage, to know, that is called jñānam. And as soon as you become jñānī, actually in knowledge, then what is the next step? Vairāgya. "No more I am serving anyone. I shall serve only Kṛṣṇa. That's all." This is called vairāgya. Jñāna-vairāgya. Therefore in the Bhāgavatam it is said:
- vāsudeve bhagavati
- bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
- janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
- jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
- (SB 1.2.7)
If one is engaged in the service of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, this knowledge also comes. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). After many, many births, if one is actually jñānī, seeking after knowledge, then he comes to this conclusion. What is this? Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ (BG 7.19). This is mahātmā, not anyone who is defying Kṛṣṇa and he's trying to become Kṛṣṇa. He's not mahātmā; he's durātmā. Mahātmā means vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti. And knowing this, māṁ prapadyate. That is mahātmā. Don't mistake mahātmā, who is mahātmā.