asmal lokad uparate
mayi jnanam mad-asrayam
arhaty uddhava evaddha
sampraty atmavatam varah
asmat—from this (universe); lokat—earth; uparate—having disappeared; mayi—of Myself; jnanam—knowledge; mat-asrayam—concerning Myself; arhati—deserves; uddhavah—Uddhava; eva—certainly; addha—directly; samprati—at the present moment; atmavatam—of the devotees; varah—foremost.
Now I shall leave the vision of this mundane world, and I see that Uddhava, the foremost of My devotees, is the only one who can be directly entrusted with knowledge about Me.
Jnanam mad-asrayam is significant in this verse. Transcendental knowledge has three departmental divisions, namely knowledge of impersonal Brahman, knowledge of the all-pervading Supersoul and knowledge of the Personality of Godhead. Out of the three, transcendental knowledge of the Personality of Godhead has special significance and is known as bhagavat-tattva-vijnana, specific knowledge of the Personality of Godhead. This specific knowledge is realized by pure devotional service and no other means. Bhagavad-gita (18.55) confirms this: bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah. “Only persons engaged in devotional service can factually know the transcendental position of the Lord.” Uddhava was considered to be the best amongst all devotees of that time, and therefore he was directly instructed by the Lord’s grace, so that people might take advantage of Uddhava’s knowledge after the disappearance of the Lord from the vision of the world. This is one of the reasons why Uddhava was advised to go to Badarikasrama, where the Lord is personally represented by the Nara-Narayana Deity. One who is transcendentally advanced can gain direct inspiration from the temple Deity, and thus a devotee of the Lord always takes shelter of a recognized temple of the Lord in order to make tangible advancement in transcendental knowledge by the grace of the Lord.
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