Anyone who is engaged in pure devotional service, under the lotus feet of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, he's already liberated. He doesn't require liberation; he's already liberated. "How he can become, become liberated? He has not studied Vedānta. He has no sufficient knowledge. We see that he's illiterate, and he cannot read, write. What kind of liberation he has got?" The question may be. But because such questions are raised by atheist class of men, they cannot understand that how a so-called illiterate man also elevates himself to the highest platform of knowledge. That is explained here: janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca. Do not think that a devotee, who is on the adulterated platform of devotional service, can remain without knowledge. He's full of knowledge.
How he becomes full of knowledge? Yes. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- teṣām evānukampārtham
- aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ
- nāśayāmy ātma-bhāvastho
- jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā
- (BG 10.11)
So Kṛṣṇa says, "To My devotees," teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10), "those who are engaged twenty-four hours in unadulterated devotional service to the Lord," buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam, "I give them intelligence how he can go back to home, back to Godhead." Why this is? Now teṣām evānukampārtham. Special favor for these persons who are twenty-four hours engaged in devotional service under the direction of bona fide spiritual master. You cannot become a pure, perfect devotee unless you are directed by another pure, unadulterated devotee. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2). So therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī has mentioned in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, ādau gurvāśrayam. You have to find out, you have to take shelter, not find out. You have to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. That is the beginning, ādau gurvāśrayaṁ sad-dharma-pṛcchā. Then you'll have to inquire, inquiry, sad-dharma, about pure devotional service. That is sad-dharma. Sad-dharma-pṛcchā. Sādhu-vartmānuvartanam. Sad-dharma-pṛcchā. You learn something about devotional service, but the devotional service should be executed by following mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Therefore we are Rūpānugas. We follow the footsteps of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī.
So sādhu-vartmānuvartanam. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says: sādhu-śāstra-guru vākya, tinete kariyā aikya. You must learn from guru, from śāstra, what is actually pure devotional service. Just like Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. One should read thoroughly this Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu to understand the science of devotion. Sādhu-śāstra. And the śāstra means it is enunciated by sādhu, Rūpa Gosvāmī. You cannot read anyone's book. If he's approved sādhu, you can read his book. Then you'll be benefited. If you read hodge-podge, then you will not be able to understand. Therefore sādhu. And sādhu means he gives quotation from śāstras, authorized śāstra He's sādhu. Sādhu will not give anything manufactured by him. No. He's not sādhu. Sādhu means whatever he'll speak, immediately he'll give evidence from the śāstra. Sādhu-śāstra-guru. And guru means who is following sādhu and śāstra. The guru does not follow sādhu and śāstra, who does not follow Rūpa Gosvāmī, does not follow shastric injunction... Shastric injunction is that if one wants to become leader, if one is the spiritual leader or political leader or brāhmaṇa, he must give up four principles of sinful life: illicit sex life, intoxication, gambling and meat-eating, fish-eating. He must give up. This is called sādhu-mārgānugamanam. If you don't follow these principles, then how you are following sādhu? If you are intoxicated, if you are fond of smoking, drinking, gāñjā, biḍi, wine, even chewing pān... Pān is also intoxication. Drinking tea. These are all intoxication. So if you are addicted to these habits, how you can be sādhu? Sādhu-mārgānugamanam.
So... But if one, therefore, engages himself, vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yoga... Vāsudeve bhagavati. Then you have to follow the devotees of Vāsudeva. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). Guru, who requires a guru? Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. One who is inquisitive to learn about the transcendental science, he requires a guru. It is not a fashion that we keep a guru. Just like sometimes we keep a dog. Yes. A pet, pet dog, pet cat. So that is for my sense gratification. Guru, I keep a guru, a poor man guru, and guru wants some money from me. Then guru, śiṣya says, "My dear guru, if I do not eat meat and fish, my health will fail." "All right, I order you. Under my order you can do that." This kind of compromise is not there. That is not guru. The guru thinks that "If I say 'Don't eat meat,' then this disciple will go away, and there is no chance of getting money from him." That kind of compromise is not required. And nobody requires to have a guru if he has got such attitude.
Guru, accept guru means you must surrender there. Samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet, śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). Tad viddhi praṇipātena (BG 4.34). Bhagavad-gītā says that "You learn from guru by praṇipāta, surrendering." The whole system is surrender. So vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ (SB 1.2.7). Bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ means in order to enter into bhakti-yoga one has to first of all surrender to a bona fide spiritual master. Ādau gurvāśrayam. This is the beginning of bhakti-yoga. And what kind of guru? An... That is also explained in the śāstras: śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam. Guru must be śābde pare ca niṣṇātam (SB 11.3.21). Śābde means śabda-brahman, Vedic knowledge. He must be dipped into the Vedic knowledge, śābde pare ca, and in devotional service, śābde pare ca niṣṇātam, brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam. And accepting the Supreme Brahman, Paraṁ Brahman, as the ultimate goal of life. Not he has got any other goal of life. These are the signs of guru.
So to attempt vāsudeva-bhakti means perfection of life. Vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ (SB 1.2.7). If we execute pure devotional service into the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then jñānam, janayaty āśu vairāgyam. This is the test of bhakti. Janayaty āśu vairāgyam. A man is tested how much he has advanced in bhakti-yoga by his detachment from material enjoyment. If you, if one is attached to sense enjoyment, at the same time, he poses himself as a great devotee, that cannot work. Just like if you are eating something, then there will be no hunger. A man is hungry so long he does not eat something. So if, if he, if you say, "Yes, I have eaten so much, and still, I am feeling hungry," that cannot be. Actually if you have eaten, then you must not feel hungry. Similarly, if you have actually tasted bhakti-yoga, then there will be no more material attachment. This is the test. Not that artificially keeping a big tilaka on forehead and thinking within always "How to get money, how to get woman?" That kind of is not... They, there..., there will be no more hunger for these material things, especially woman and money. That is the test of bhakti.