“For many, many births I have been suffering from the threefold miseries of this material existence, and I am now tired of it. I have been impelled only by my senses, and I was never satisfied. I therefore take shelter of Your lotus feet, which are the source of all peaceful life and which can eradicate all lamentation caused by material contamination. My dear Lord, You are the Supersoul of everyone, and You can understand everything. Now I am free from all contamination of material desire. I do not wish to enjoy this material world, nor do I wish to take advantage of merging into Your spiritual effulgence, nor do I wish to meditate upon Your localized aspect of Paramātmā, for I know that simply by taking shelter of You, I shall become completely peaceful and undisturbed.”
On hearing this statement by King Mucukunda, Lord Kṛṣṇa replied, “My dear King, I am very much pleased with your statement. You have been the king of all the lands on this planet, but I am surprised to find that your mind is now freed from all material contamination. You are now fit to execute devotional service. I am most pleased to see that although I offered you the opportunity to ask from Me any kind of benediction, you did not take advantage of asking for material benefits. I can understand that your mind is now fixed in Me, and it is not disturbed by any material quality.”
The material qualities are three, namely goodness, passion and ignorance. When one is placed into the mixed material qualities of passion and ignorance, various kinds of greed and lusty desires impel him to try to find comfort in this material world. When situated in the material quality of goodness, one tries to purify himself by performing various penances and austerities. When one reaches the platform of a real brāhmaṇa, he aspires to merge into the existence of the Lord. But when one desires only to render service unto the lotus feet of the Lord, he is transcendental to all these three qualities. The pure Kṛṣṇa conscious person is therefore always free from all material qualities.
“My dear King,” Lord Kṛṣṇa continued, “I offered to give you any kind of benediction just to test how much you have advanced in devotional service. Now I can see that you are on the platform of the pure devotees, for your mind is not disturbed by any greedy or lusty desires of this material world. The yogīs who try to elevate themselves by controlling the senses and who meditate upon Me by practicing the breathing exercise of prāṇāyāma are not so thoroughly freed from material desires. It has been seen in several cases that as soon as there is allurement, such yogīs again come down to the material platform.”
The vivid example verifying this statement is Viśvāmitra Muni. Viśvāmitra Muni was a great yogī who practiced prāṇāyāma, a breathing exercise, but when he was visited by Menakā, a society woman of the heavenly planets, he lost all control and begot in her a daughter named Śakuntalā. But the pure devotee Haridāsa Ṭhākura was never disturbed, even when all such allurements were offered by a prostitute.
“My dear King,” Lord Kṛṣṇa continued, “I therefore give you the special benediction that you will always think of Me. Thus you will be able to traverse this material world freely, without being contaminated by the material qualities.” This statement by the Lord confirms that a person in true Kṛṣṇa consciousness, engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord under the direction of the spiritual master, is never subject to the contamination of material qualities.
“My dear King,” the Lord said, “because you are a kṣatriya, you have committed the offense of slaughtering animals, both in hunting and in political engagements. To become purified, just engage yourself in the practice of bhakti-yoga and always keep your mind absorbed in Me. Very soon you will be freed from all reactions to such sordid activities.” In this statement it appears that although kṣatriyas are allowed to kill animals in hunting, they are not freed from the resultant contamination of sinful reactions. Therefore, whether one is a kṣatriya, vaiśya or brāhmaṇa, everyone is recommended to take sannyāsa at the end of life, to engage himself completely in the service of the Lord and thus become freed from all sinful reactions of his past life.