kim va yogena sankhyena
kim va sreyobhir anyais ca
na yatratma-prado harih
kim—what is the use; va—or; yogena—by mystic yoga practice; sankhyena—by the study of Sankhya philosophy; nyasa—by accepting sannyasa; svadhyayayoh—and by study of Vedic literature; api—even; kim—what is the use; va—or; sreyobhih—by auspicious activities; anyaih—other; ca—and; na—never; yatra—where; atma-pradah—full satisfaction of self; harih—the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Transcendental practices that do not ultimately help one realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead are useless, be they mystic yoga practices, the analytical study of matter, severe austerity, the acceptance of sannyasa, or the study of Vedic literature. All these may be very important aspects of spiritual advancement, but unless one understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, all these processes are useless.
Impersonalists do not take to devotional service, but take to other practices, such as the analytical study of the material elements, the discrimination between matter and spirit, and the mystic yoga system. These are beneficial only insofar as they are complementary to devotional service. Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore told Sanatana Gosvami that without a touch of devotional service, jnana, yoga and Sankhya philosophy cannot give one the desired results. The impersonalists wish to merge into the Supreme Brahman; however, merging into the Supreme Brahman also requires a touch of devotional service. The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases—impersonal Brahman, Paramatma and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All these require a touch of devotional service. Sometimes it is actually seen that these Mayavadis also chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, although their motive is to merge into the Brahman effulgence of the Absolute. The yogis also at times take to chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, but their purpose is different from that of the bhaktas. In all processes—karma, jnana or yoga—bhakti is required. That is the purport of this verse.
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