na svargaṁ nāpunar-bhavam
martyānāṁ kim utāśiṣaḥ
tulayāma—we compare; lavena—with a moment; api—even; na—not; svargam—attainment of the heavenly planets; na—not; apunaḥ-bhavam—merging into the Brahman effulgence; bhagavat—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; saṅgi—with associates; saṅgasya—of association; martyānām—of persons who are destined to die; kim uta—how much less; āśiṣaḥ—benedictions.
Even a moment’s association with a pure devotee cannot be compared to being transferred to heavenly planets or even merging into the Brahman effulgence in complete liberation. For living entities who are destined to give up the body and die, association with pure devotees is the highest benediction.
The great saint Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī, a devotee of Lord Caitanya, has stated: kaivalyaṁ narakāyate tridaśa-pūr ākāśa-puṣpāyate. For a pure devotee, kaivalya, merging into the existence of Brahman, the Brahman effulgence, is no better than living in hell. Similarly, he considers promotion to heavenly planets (tridaśa-pūr) just another kind of phantasmagoria. In other words, a pure devotee does not place much value in the destination of the karmīs (the heavenly planets) or in the destination of the jñānīs (merging into the Brahman effulgence). A pure devotee considers a moment’s association with another pure devotee to be far superior to residing in a heavenly planet or merging in the Brahman effulgence. The topmost benediction for those who are living in this material world and are subjected to the repetition of birth and death (transmigration) is association with pure devotees. One should search out such pure devotees and remain with them. That will make one completely happy, even though living within the material world. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is started for that purpose. A person who is overly affected materially may take advantage of this movement and become intimately associated with it. In this way the confused and frustrated inhabitants of this material world may find the highest happiness in association with devotees.
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