prabhu kahe,--"kon vidya vidya-madhye sara?"
raya kahe,--"krsna-bhakti vina vidya nahi ara"
prabhu kahe—the Lord inquired; kon—what; vidya—knowledge; vidya-madhye—in the midst of knowledge; sara—the most important; raya kahe—Ramananda Raya answered; krsna-bhakti—devotional service to Krsna; vina—except; vidya—education; nahi—there is not; ara—any other.
On one occasion the Lord inquired, "Of all types of education, which is the most important?" Ramananda Raya replied, "No education is important other than the transcendental devotional service of Krsna."
Texts 245 to 257 are all questions and answers between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya. In these exchanges there is an attempt to show the difference between material and spiritual existence. Education in Krsna consciousness is always transcendental and is the best of all forms of education. Material education aims at increasing the activities of material sense gratification. Beyond material sense gratification is another negative form of knowledge called brahma-vidya, or transcendental knowledge. But beyond that brahma-vidya, or knowledge of the impersonal Brahman, is knowledge of devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Visnu. This knowledge is higher. And higher still is devotional service to Lord Krsna, which is the topmost form of education. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.29.49): tat karma hari-tosam yat sa vidya tan-matir yaya: "Work meant for pleasing the Supreme Lord is the best, and education that enhances one's Krsna consciousness is the best."
sravanam kirtanam visnoh
arcanam vandanam dasyam
iti pumsarpita visnau
bhaktis cen nava-laksana
kriyeta bhagavaty addha
tan manye 'dhitam uttamam
This is a statement given by Prahlada Maharaja in answer to a question raised by his father. Prahlada Maharaja said, "To hear or chant about Lord Visnu, to remember Him, to serve His lotus feet, to worship Him, to offer prayers to Him, to become His servant and His friend, to sacrifice everything for His service-all these are varieties of devotional service. One who is engaged in such activities is understood to be educated to the topmost perfection."
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