TEXT 23
kanyā-dāna-pātra āmi nā ha-i tomāra
kṛṣṇa-prītye kari tomāra sevā-vyavahāra
SYNONYMS
kanyā-dāna-pātra—a bridegroom suitable for one's daughter; āmi—I; —not; ha-i—am; tomāra—of you; kṛṣṇa-prītye—only for satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa; kari—I do; tomāra—of you; sevā—of service; vyavahāra—activities.
TRANSLATION
"Sir, I am not a suitable bridegroom for your daughter. I render service to you only for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa.
PURPORT
Both brāhmaṇas were pure Vaiṣṇavas. The younger man took special care of the older one simply to please Kṛṣṇa. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.19.21) Kṛṣṇa says, mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā: "It is better to render service to My devotee." Thus, according to the Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇava philosophy of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, it is better to be a servant of the servant of God. One should not try to serve Kṛṣṇa directly. A pure Vaiṣṇava serves a servant of Kṛṣṇa and identifies himself as a servant of a servant of Kṛṣṇa. This is pleasing to Lord Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura confirms this philosophy: chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā. Unless one serves a liberated Vaiṣṇava, he cannot attain liberation by directly serving Kṛṣṇa. He must serve the servant of Kṛṣṇa.

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