na svargaṁ nāpunar-bhavam
martyānāṁ kim utāśiṣaḥ
kṣaṇa-ardhena—by half a moment; api—even; tulaye—compare; na—never; svargam—heavenly planets; na—neither; apunaḥ-bhavam—merging into the Supreme; bhagavat—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; saṅgi—associate; saṅgasya—one who takes advantage of associating; martyānām—of the conditioned soul; kim uta—what is there; āśiṣaḥ—blessings.
If one by chance associates with a devotee, even for a fraction of a moment, he no longer is subject to attraction by the results of karma or jñāna. What interest then can he have in the benedictions of the demigods, who are subject to the laws of birth and death?
Out of three kinds of men—the karmīs, jñānīs and bhaktas—the bhakta is described herein as the most exalted. Śrīla Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī has sung: kaivalyaṁ narakāyate tridaśa-pūr ākāśa-puṣpāyate (Caitanya-candrāmṛta). The word kaivalya means to merge into the effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the word tridaśa-pūr refers to the heavenly planets where the demigods live. Thus for a devotee, kaivalya-sukha, or merging into the existence of the Lord, is hellish because the bhakta considers it suicidal to lose his individuality and merge into the effulgence of Brahman. A bhakta always wants to retain his individuality in order to render service to the Lord. Indeed, he considers promotion to the upper planetary systems to be no better than a will-o’-the-wisp. Temporary, material happiness holds no value for a devotee. The devotee is in such an exalted position that he is not interested in the actions of karma or jñāna. The resultant actions of karma and jñāna are so insignificant to a devotee situated on the transcendental platform that he is not in the least interested in them. Bhakti-yoga is sufficient to give the bhakta all happiness. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.6): yayātmā suprasīdati. One can be fully satisfied simply by devotional service, and that is the result of association with a devotee. Without being blessed by a pure devotee, no one can be fully satisfied, nor can anyone understand the transcendental position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
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