Persons who have achieved eternal, blissful life exactly on the level of Sri Krsna, and who are able to attract Lord Krsna by their transcendental loving service, are called eternally perfect. The technical name is nitya-siddha. There are two classes of living entities-namely, nitya-siddha and nitya-baddha. The distinction is that the nitya-siddhas are eternally Krsna conscious without any forgetfulness, whereas the nitya-baddhas, or eternally conditioned souls, are forgetful of their relationship with Krsna.
The position of the nitya-siddhas is explained in the Padma Purana in connection with the narration of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Satyabhamadevi. The Lord tells Satyabhama: "My dear Satyabhamadevi, I have descended to this earthly planet by the request of Lord Brahma and other demigods. Those who are born into this family of Yadu are all My eternal associates. My dear wife, you should not consider that My associates are ever separated from Me; they are My personal expansions, and as such, you must know that they are almost as powerful as I am. Because of their transcendental qualities, they are very, very dear to Me, as I am very, very dear to them." Anyone who becomes exhilarated by hearing of the pastimes of Lord Krsna when He was present on this earth with His associates is to be understood as nitya-siddha, eternally perfect.
In the Tenth Canto, 14th Chapter, 30th verse, of Srimad-Bhagavatam there is this statement: "How wonderful are the fortunate residents of Vrndavana, such as Nanda and the other cowherd men. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme Brahman, has actually become their intimate friend!"
A similar statement is there in the Tenth Canto, 26th Chapter, 10th verse, of Srimad-Bhagavatam. When Lord Krsna lifted Govardhan Hill, the cowherd men, under the protection of Lord Krsna, became struck with wonder and went to Nanda Maharaj and inquired from him, "My dear Nanda Maharaj, how is it that we are so intensely attached to Krsna and Krsna is also so affectionately attached to us? Does it mean that He is the supersoul of everyone?"
All of the residents of Vrndavana and Dvaraka-namely the cowherd men and the members of the Yadu family-are eternally perfect devotees of the Lord. As the Lord descends by His causeless mercy upon this planet, so, in order to help in the pastimes of the Lord, these devotees also come here. They are not ordinary living entities or conditioned souls; they are ever-liberated persons, associates of the Personality of Godhead. And, just as Lord Krsna behaves like an ordinary man when He descends to this planet, so the members of the Yadu dynasty and the residents of Vrndavana execute activities just like ordinary men. But they are not ordinary men; they are as liberated as Lord Krsna Himself.
In the Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda section, it is stated, "Just as Lord Ramacandra descends along with Laksmana and Bharata, an expansion of Sankarsana,* (*A detailed description of the ways in which the various expansions and incarnations of Godhead are developed is to be found in the author's Teaching's of Lord Chaitanya (New York: 1968) in Chapters VI, VII and XIII.) so the members of the Yadu dynasty and the cowherd men of Vrndavana also descend with Lord Krsna in order to join in the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. When the Supreme Lord returns to His eternal abode, His associates return with Him to their respective places. As such, these ever-liberated Vaisnavas are not bound by the material laws of birth and death."
As stated in the Bhagavad-gita by the Lord Himself, His birth, deeds and activities are all transcendental. Similarly, the birth, deeds and activities of the associates of the Lord are also transcendental. And, as it is an offense to consider oneself to be Krsna, so it is offensive to consider oneself to be Yasoda, Nanda or any other associate of the Lord. We should always remember that they are transcendental; they are never conditioned souls.
It is described that Krsna, the enemy of Kamsa, has sixty-four transcendental qualities, and all of the ever-liberated souls who accompany the Lord have the first fifty-five of the qualities, without any doubt. Such devotees are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in any of five transcendental mellows-namely, neutrality, servitorship, friendship, parenthood and conjugal love. These relationships with the Lord are eternal, and therefore nitya-siddha devotees do not have to strive to attain the perfectional stage by executing regulative devotional principles. They are eternally qualified to serve Krsna.
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