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Krsna gives His instruction directly to an associate like Arjuna, just so that the people in general may take advantage of this spiritual knowledge

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"Gives His instruction directly to an associate like Arjuna, just so that the people in general may take advantage of this spiritual knowledge"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

The Supreme Lord Himself comes in His original form as Śrī Kṛṣṇa and gives His instruction directly to an associate like Arjuna, just so that the people in general may take advantage of this spiritual knowledge. This verse also explains that liberation means having completely given up all the material comforts of life. Those who are impersonalists are satisfied by simply being liberated from the material circumstances, but those who are devotees can automatically give up material life and also enjoy the transcendental bliss of hearing and chanting the wonderful activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

There is a similar statement in the Tenth Canto, 87th Chapter, 17th verse, when the Śrutis, the Vedas personified, prayed to the Lord as follows: "My dear Lord, it is very difficult to understand spiritual knowledge. Your appearance here just as You are, is to explain to us this most difficult subject of knowledge of the spirit. As such, Your devotees who have left their domestic comforts to associate with the liberated ācāryas (teachers) are now fully merged in the devotional service of Your Lordship, and thus they do not care for any so-called liberation."

In explaining this verse it should be noted that spiritual knowledge means understanding the self and the supersoul, or superself. The individual soul and the supersoul are qualitatively one, and therefore both of them are known as Brahman, or spirit. But knowledge of Brahman is very difficult to understand. There are so many philosophers engaged in the matter of understanding the soul, but they are unable to make any tangible advancement. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that out of many millions of persons, only one may try to understand what is spiritual knowledge, and out of many such persons who are trying to understand, only one or a few may know what is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So this verse says that spiritual knowledge is very difficult to achieve, and so in order to make it more easily attainable, the Supreme Lord Himself comes in His original form as Śrī Kṛṣṇa and gives His instruction directly to an associate like Arjuna, just so that the people in general may take advantage of this spiritual knowledge. This verse also explains that liberation means having completely given up all the material comforts of life. Those who are impersonalists are satisfied by simply being liberated from the material circumstances, but those who are devotees can automatically give up material life and also enjoy the transcendental bliss of hearing and chanting the wonderful activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

In the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 20th Chapter, 34th verse, Lord Kṛṣṇa says to Uddhava as follows: "My dear Uddhava, the devotees who have completely taken shelter of My service are so steadfast in devotional service that they have no other desire. Even if they are offered the four kinds of spiritual opulences,* they will refuse to accept them. So what to speak of their desiring anything within the material world!" Similarly, Lord Kṛṣṇa says in another passage of the Bhāgavatam, Eleventh Canto, 14th Chapter, 13th verse, "My dear Uddhava, a person whose consciousness is completely absorbed in My thought and activities does not aspire even to occupy the post of Brahmā, or the post of Indra, or the post of lordship over the planets, or the eight kinds of mystic perfections, or even liberation itself." In the Twelfth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 10th Chapter, verse 6, Lord Śiva says to Devī: "My dear Devī, this great brāhmaṇa sage Mārkaṇḍeya has attained unflinching faith and devotion unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such he does not aspire after any benedictions, including liberation from the material world."

  • The fifth kind of liberation, merging with the Supreme, is not considered an opulence in spiritual variegated existence.

Similarly, there is a statement in Padma Purāṇa describing the ritualistic function during the month of Kārttika (October-November). During this month, in Vṛndāvana it is the regulative principle to pray daily to Lord Kṛṣṇa in His Dāmodara form. The Dāmodara form refers to Kṛṣṇa in His childhood when He was tied up with rope by His mother, Yaśodā. Dāma means ropes, and udara means the abdomen. So Mother Yaśodā, being very disturbed by naughty Kṛṣṇa, bound Him round the abdomen with a rope, and thus Kṛṣṇa is named Dāmodara. During the month of Kārttika, Dāmodara is prayed to as follows: "My dear Lord, You are the Lord of all, the giver of all benedictions." There are many demigods like Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva who sometimes offer benedictions to their respective devotees. For example, Rāvaṇa was blest with many benedictions by Lord Śiva, and Hiraṇyakaśipu was blest by Lord Brahmā. But even Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā depend upon the benedictions of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and therefore Kṛṣṇa is addressed as the Lord of all benefactors. As such, Lord Kṛṣṇa can offer His devotees anything they want, but still, the devotee's prayer continues, "I do not ask You for liberation or any material facility up to the point of liberation. What I want as Your favor is that I may always think of Your form as I see You now as Dāmodara. You are so beautiful and attractive that my mind does not want anything else besides this wonderful form." In this same prayer, there is another passage in which it is said, "My dear Lord Dāmodara, once when You were playing as a naughty boy in the house of Nanda Mahārāj, You broke the box containing yogurt, and because of that Mother Yaśodā considered You an offender and tied You with rope to the household grinding mortar. At that time You delivered two sons of Kuvera, Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, who were staying there as two arjuna trees in the yard of Nanda Mahārāj. My only request is that by Your merciful pastimes You may similarly deliver me."