King Parīkṣit was hearing the narrations of the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Balarāma from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. These pastimes are all transcendentally pleasurable to hear, and Mahārāja Parīkṣit addressed Śukadeva Gosvāmī as follows: “My dear lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the bestower of both liberation and love of God simultaneously. Anyone who becomes a devotee of the Lord automatically attains liberation without having to make a separate attempt. Because the Lord is unlimited, His pastimes and activities for creating, maintaining and destroying the whole cosmic manifestation are also unlimited. I therefore wish to hear about other pastimes of His which you may not have described as yet. My dear master, the conditioned souls within this material world are frustrated by searching out the pleasure of happiness derived from sense gratification. Such desires for material enjoyment are always piercing the hearts of conditioned souls. But I am actually experiencing how the transcendental topics of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes can relieve one from being affected by such material activities of sense gratification. I think that no intelligent person can reject this method of hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Lord again and again; simply by hearing, one can remain always steeped in transcendental pleasure. Thus one will not be attracted by material sense gratification.”
In this statement, Mahārāja Parīkṣit has used two important words: viṣaṇṇa and viśeṣa-jña. Viṣaṇṇa means “morose.” Materialistic people invent many ways and means to become fully satisfied, but actually they remain morose. The point may be raised that sometimes transcendentalists also remain morose. Parīkṣit Mahārāja, however, has used the word viśeṣa-jña. There are two kinds of transcendentalists, namely the impersonalists and the personalists. Viśeṣa-jña refers to the personalists, who are interested in transcendental variegatedness. The devotees become jubilant by hearing the descriptions of the personal activities of the Supreme Lord, whereas the impersonalists, who are actually more attracted by the impersonal feature of the Lord, are only superficially attracted by the Lord’s personal activities. As such, in spite of coming in contact with the pastimes of the Lord, the impersonalists do not fully realize the benefit to be derived, and thus they become just as morose as the materialists do in pursuing their fruitive activities.
King Parīkṣit continued: “The ability to talk can be perfected only by describing the transcendental qualities of the Lord. The ability to work with one’s hands can be successful only when one engages himself in the service of the Lord with those hands. Similarly, one’s mind can be peaceful only when one simply thinks of Kṛṣṇa in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This does not mean that one has to have very great thinking power: one has to understand simply that Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Truth, is all-pervasive by His localized aspect of Paramātmā. If one can simply think that Kṛṣṇa, as Paramātmā, is everywhere, even within the atom, then one can perfect the thinking, feeling and willing functions of his mind. The perfect devotee does not see the material world as it appears to material eyes, for he sees everywhere the presence of his worshipable Lord in His Paramātmā feature.”
Mahārāja Parīkṣit continued by saying that the function of the ear can be perfected simply by engagement in hearing the transcendental activities of the Lord, and the function of the head can be fully utilized when the head is engaged in bowing down before the Lord and His representative. That the Lord is represented in everyone’s heart is a fact, and therefore the highly advanced devotee offers his respects to every living entity, considering that the body is the temple of the Lord. But it is not possible for all men to come to that stage of life immediately, because that stage is for the first-class devotee. The second-class devotee can consider the Vaiṣṇavas, or the devotees of the Lord, to be representatives of Kṛṣṇa, and the devotee who is just beginning, the neophyte or third-class devotee, can bow his head before the Deity in the temple and before the spiritual master, who is the direct manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, in the neophyte stage, in the intermediate stage or in the fully advanced, perfected stage, one can make the function of the head perfect by bowing down before the Lord or His representative. Similarly, one can perfect the function of the eyes by seeing the Lord and His representative. In this way, everyone can elevate the functions of the different parts of his body to the highest perfectional stage simply by engaging them in the service of the Lord or His representative. If one is able to do nothing more, he can simply bow down before the Lord and His representative and drink the caraṇāmṛta, the water which has washed the lotus feet of the Lord or His devotee.
On hearing these statements of Mahārāja Parīkṣit’s, Śukadeva Gosvāmī was overwhelmed with devotional ecstasy because of King Parīkṣit’s advanced understanding of the Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Śukadeva Gosvāmī was already engaged in describing the activities of the Lord, and when asked by Mahārāja Parīkṣit to describe them further, he continued to narrate Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with great pleasure.
There was a very nice brāhmaṇa friend of Lord Kṛṣṇa. As a perfect brāhmaṇa, he was very elevated in transcendental knowledge, and because of his advanced knowledge, he was not at all attached to material enjoyment. Therefore he was very peaceful and had achieved supreme control over his senses. This means that the brāhmaṇa was a perfect devotee, because unless one is a perfect devotee he cannot achieve the highest standard of knowledge. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that a person who has come to the perfection of knowledge surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, any person who has surrendered his life for the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has come to the point of perfect knowledge. The result of perfect knowledge is that one becomes detached from the materialistic way of life. This detachment means complete control of the senses, which are always attracted by material enjoyment. The senses of the devotee become purified, and in that stage the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord. That is the complete field of devotional service.