jnanatah su-labha muktir
bhuktir yajnadi-punyatah
seyam sadhana-sahasrair
hari-bhaktih su-durlabha
jnanatah—by cultivation of knowledge; su-labha—easily obtainable; muktih—liberation; bhuktih—sense enjoyment; yajna-adi—performance of sacrifices, etc.; punyatah—and by performing pious activities; sa—that; iyam—this; sadhana-sahasraih—execution of thousands of sacrifices; hari-bhaktih—devotional service; su-durlabha—is very rare.
"By cultivating philosophical knowledge one can understand his spiritual position and thus be liberated, and by performing sacrifices and pious activities one can achieve sense gratification in a higher planetary system, but the devotional service of the Lord is so rare that even by executing hundreds and thousands of such sacrifices one cannot obtain it."
Prahlada Maharaja instructs:
matir na krsne paratah svato va
mitho 'bhipadyeta grha-vratanam
(Bhag. 7.5.30)
naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim
sprsaty anarthapagamo yad-arthah
mahiyasam pada-rajo-'bhisekam
niskincananam na vrnita yavat
(Bhag. 7.5.32)
These slokas are to be discussed. Their purport is that one cannot obtain krsna-bhakti, or the devotional service of the Lord, by official execution of the Vedic rituals. One has to approach a pure devotee. Narottama dasa Thakura sings, chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payeche keba: "Who has been elevated without rendering service to a pure Vaisnava?" It is the statement of Prahlada Maharaja that unless one is able to accept the dust from the lotus feet of a pure Vaisnava there is no possibility of achieving the platform of devotional service. That is the secret. The above-mentioned tantra-vacana, quoted from the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.36), is our perfect guidance in this connection.

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