So this jñāna and vairāgya can be achieved simply by becoming a devotee of Vāsudeva. That is the verdict of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ, janayaty āśu vairāgyam (SB 1.2.7). Āśu vairāgya, very soon. Just like these boys, these American, these European boys, they are young men. Now they have taken sannyāsa and dedicated their life for service of Kṛṣṇa. They are vairāgya. They are coming from opulent nation, very rich men, rich nation. Their parents are very rich. There is no scarcity of food. There is no scarcity of money. There is no scarcity of women in the western countries. But they have left everything. Simply boys. They are all within thirty. How much a young man may have propensities for enjoying this material way of life! And when there is facilities. But how they have taken to it? This is the proof.
- vāsudeve bhagavati
- bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
- janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
- jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
- (SB 1.2.7)
This is proof. So actually if we want jñāna and knowledge... because human life is meant for jñāna and knowledge. Human life is not meant for living like animals, cats and dogs. Cats and dogs cannot be elevated to the platform of jñāna and vairāgya. That is not possible. A human being can be elevated by education, by culture, to the platform of jñāna and vairāgya. That is the ultimate goal. Śrī Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura sings therefore,
- hari hari bifale, janama goṅāinu,
- manuṣya-janama pāiyā, rādhā-kṛṣṇa nā bhajiyā
- jāniyā śuniyā biṣa khāinu
This is jñāna, regretting "My dear Lord, I got this very opportune moment to possess this human form of life, manuṣya-janama pāiyā, but my duty was to worship Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa." That is the highest perfection of worshiping. Ramya kecid upāsanā vraja-vadhu-vargabhir ya kalpita. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended, "The upāsanā, the worship which was invented by the gopīs to worship Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, ramya kecid upāsanā, there is no more perfect upāsanā." So this rādhā-kṛṣṇa-upāsanā is the perfection of upāsanā. Even it is better than viṣṇu-upāsanā. In the material way of life viṣṇu-upāsanā has been recommended as the highest. Ārādhanānāṁ paraṁ devi viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param. It is the statement of Lord Śiva to Pārvatī, that "Of all ārādhana, viṣṇu-ārādhanam is the best."
- ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ
- viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param
- tasmāt parataraṁ devi
- tadīyānāṁ samarcanam
Tasmāt parataram. "Even better than viṣṇu-ārādhana is to worship the Vaiṣṇavas." Mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhika (SB 11.19.21). Kṛṣṇa has said also that "Anyone who is worshiping My devotee, pure devotee, that is better worship than one who is worshiping Me directly."
So Śrī Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says that "I got this opportunity of human life, but instead of worshiping Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, I have worshiped so many things." Somebody is worshiping his body, somebody is worshiping his mind, somebody is worshiping his country, somebody is worshiping his something else, something else, or somebody is worshiping some other demigods also. But that is not recommended in the śāstra, at least in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajanty anya-devatāḥ (BG 7.20). There are worshipers of other demigods, but they have been described in the Bhagavad-gītā as hṛta-jñānāḥ. Hṛta-jñānāḥ. Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura comments, naṣṭa buddhayaḥ, "one who has lost his intelligence." These are the verdict of the śāstra. Therefore one who has taken only to Kṛṣṇa worship sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam (BG 18.66), only Kṛṣṇa, he is intelligent. And one who is not intelligent, mūḍha, he does not take to Kṛṣṇa. This is straight meaning of Bhagavad-gītā. You can make your own meaning, but if you want to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is, this is the meaning. You cannot accept the worship even of big, big demigods. What to speak of minor demigods, even big demigods just like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva... You can worship. Vaiṣṇava is ready to give respect even to the ant. And why not Lord Śiva? And why not Lord Brahmā or any other demigods? They offer. But they offer in which way? As servant of Kṛṣṇa.