Here is the distinction between a devotee and a philosopher who speculates on the subject matter of transcendence. A devotee does not need to cultivate knowledge to understand the falsity or temporary existence of this material world. Because of his unalloyed devotion to Vāsudeva, this knowledge and detachment are automatically manifested in his person. As confirmed elsewhere in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 1.2.7)
- vāsudeve bhagavati
- bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
- janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
- jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
One who engages in unalloyed devotional service to Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, automatically becomes aware of this material world, and therefore he is naturally detached. This detachment is possible because of his high standard of knowledge. The speculative philosopher tries to understand that this material world is false by cultivating knowledge, but this understanding is automatically manifested in the person of a devotee, without separate endeavor. The Māyāvādī philosophers may be very proud of their so-called knowledge, but because they do not understand Vāsudeva (vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19)), they do not understand the world of duality, which is a manifestation of Vāsudeva's external energy. Therefore, unless the so-called jñānīs take shelter of Vāsudeva, their speculative knowledge is imperfect. Ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninaḥ. They simply think of becoming free from the contamination of the material world, but because they do not take shelter at the lotus feet of Vāsudeva, their knowledge is impure. When they actually become pure, they surrender to the lotus feet of Vāsudeva. Therefore, the Absolute Truth is easier to understand for a devotee than for jñānīs who simply speculate to understand Vāsudeva. Lord Śiva confirms this statement in the following verse.