TEXT 21
kevala jnana'mukti' dite nare bhakti vine
krsnonmukhe sei mukti haya vina jnane
SYNONYMS
kevala—only; jnana—speculative knowledge; mukti—liberation; dite—to deliver; nare—is not able; bhakti vine—without devotional service; krsna-unmukhe—if one is attached to the service of Lord Krsna; sei mukti—that liberation; haya—appears; vina—without; jnane—knowledge.
TRANSLATION
"Speculative knowledge alone, without devotional service, is not able to give liberation. On the other hand, even without knowledge one can obtain liberation if one engages in the Lord's devotional service.
PURPORT
One cannot attain liberation simply by speculative knowledge. Even though one may be able to distinguish between Brahman and matter, one's liberation will be hampered if one is misled into thinking that the living entity is as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indeed, one falls down again onto the material platform because considering oneself the Supreme Person, the Supreme Absolute Truth, is offensive. When such a person comes in contact with a pure devotee, he can actually become liberated from material bondage and engage in the Lord's service. A prayer by Bilvamangala Thakura is relevant here:
bhaktis tvayi sthiratara bhagavan yadi syad
daivena nah phalati divya-kisora-murtih
muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate 'sman
dharmartha-kama-gatayah samaya-pratiksah
"O my Lord, if one engages in Your pure devotional service with determination, You become visible in Your original transcendental youthful form as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As far as liberation is concerned, she stands before the devotee with folded hands waiting to render service. Religion, economic development and sense gratification are all automatically attained without separate endeavor."

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