papraccha cemam evartham
yan mam prcchatha sattamah
sraddadhano maha-manah
samstham vijnaya sannyasya
karma trai-vargikam ca yat
vasudeve bhagavati
atma-bhavam drdham gatah
papracchaasked; caalso; imamthis; evaexactly like; arthampurpose; yatthat; mamunto me; prcchathayou are asking; sattamahO great sages; krsna-anubhavarapt in thought of Krsna; sravanein hearing; sraddadhanahfull of faith; maha-manahthe great soul; samsthamdeath; vijnayabeing informed; sannyasyarenouncing; karmafruitive activities; trai-vargikamthe three principles religion, economic development and sense gratification; caalso; yatwhat it may be; vasudeveunto Lord Krsna; bhagavatithe Personality of Godhead; atma-bhavamattraction of love; drdhamfirmly fixed; gatahachieved.
O great sages, the great soul Maharaja Pariksit, constantly rapt in thought of Lord Krsna, knowing well of his imminent death, renounced all sorts of fruitive activities, namely acts of religion, economic development and sense gratification, and thus fixed himself firmly in his natural love for Krsna and asked all these questions, exactly as you are asking me.
The three activities of religion, economic development and sense gratification are generally attractive for conditioned souls struggling for existence in the material world. Such regulated activities prescribed in the Vedas are called the karma-kandiya conception of life, and householders are generally recommended to follow the rules just to enjoy material prosperity both in this life and in the next. Most people are attracted by such activities. Even in the activities of their modern godless civilization, people are more concerned with economic development and sense gratification without any religious sentiments. As a great emperor of the world, Maharaja Pariksit had to observe such regulations of the Vedic karma-kandiya section, but by his slight association with Sukadeva Gosvami he could perfectly understand that Lord Krsna, the Absolute Personality of Godhead (Vasudeva), for whom he had a natural love since his birth, is everything, and thus he fixed his mind firmly upon Him, renouncing all modes of Vedic karma-kandiya activities. This perfectional stage is attained by a jnani after many, many births. The jnanis, or the empiric philosophers endeavoring for liberation, are thousands of times better than the fruitive workers, and out of hundreds of thousands of such jnanis one is liberated factually. And out of hundreds of thousands of such liberated persons, even one person is rarely found who can firmly fix his mind unto the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krsna, as declared by the Lord Himself in the Bhagavad-gita (7.19). Maharaja Pariksit is specially qualified with the word maha-manah, which puts him on an equal level with the mahatmas described in the Bhagavad-gita. In the later age also there have been many mahatmas of this type, and they also gave up all karma-kandiya conceptions of life' solely and wholly depending on the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna. Lord Caitanya, who is Lord Krsna Himself, taught us in His Siksastaka (8):
"Lord Krsna, who is the lover of many devotees (women), may embrace this fully surrendered maidservant or may trample me with His feet, or He may render me brokenhearted by not being present before me for a long duration of time, but still He is nothing less than the Absolute Lord of my heart."
Srila Rupa Gosvami spoke thus:
viracaya mayi dandam dina-bandho dayami va
gatir iha na bhavattah kacid anya mamasti
nipatatu sata-koti-nirbharam va navambhah
tad api kila-payodah stuyate catakena
"O Lord of the poor, do what you like with me, give me either mercy or punishment, but in this world I have none to look to except Your Lordship. The cataka bird always prays for the cloud, regardless of whether it showers rains or throws a thunderbolt."
Srila Madhavendra Puri, the grand-spiritual master of Lord Caitanya, took leave of all karma-kandiya obligations in the following words:
"O my evening prayer, all good unto you. O my morning bath, I bid you good-bye. O demigods and forefathers, please excuse me. I am unable to perform any more offerings for your pleasure. Now I have decided to free myself from all reactions to sins simply by remembering anywhere and everywhere the great descendant of Yadu and the great enemy of Kamsa [Lord Krsna]. I think that this is sufficient for me. So what is the use of further endeavors?"
Srila Madhavendra Puri said further:
mugdham mam nigadantu niti-nipuna bhrantam muhur vaidikah
mandam bandhava-sancaya jada-dhiyam muktadarah sodarah
unmattam dhanino viveka-caturah kamam maha-dambhikam
moktum na ksamate manag api mano govinda-pada-sprham
"Let the sharp moralist accuse me of being illusioned; I do not mind. Experts in Vedic activities may slander me as being misled, friends and relatives may call me frustrated, my brothers may call me a fool, the wealthy mammonites may point me out as mad, and the learned philosophers may assert that I am much too proud; still my mind does not budge an inch from the determination to serve the lotus feet of Govinda, though I be unable to do it."
And also Prahlada Maharaja said:
dharmartha-kama iti yo 'bhihitas trivarga
iksa trayi naya-damau vividha ca varta
manye tad etad akhilam nigamasya satyam
svatmarpanam sva-suhrdah paramasya pumsah
"Religion, economic development and sense gratification are celebrated as three means of attaining the path of salvation. Of these, iksa trayi especially, i.e., knowledge of the self, knowledge of fruitive acts and logic and also politics and economics, are different means of livelihood. All these are different subjects of Vedic education, and therefore I consider them temporary engagements. On the other hand, surrendering unto the Supreme Lord Visnu is a factual gain in life, and I consider it the ultimate truth." (SB 7.6.26)
The whole matter is concluded in the Bhagavad-gita (2.41) as vyavasayatmika buddhih, or the absolute path of perfection. Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, a great Vaisnava scholar, defines this as bhagavad-arcana-rupaika-niskama-karmabhir visuddha-cittah-accepting transcendental loving service to the Lord as the prime duty, free from fruitive reaction.
So Maharaja Pariksit was perfectly right when he firmly accepted the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, renouncing all karma-kandiya conceptions of life.

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