ya icchec chreya ātmanaḥ
ekaṁ hy eva hares tatra
dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa—the four principles religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation; ākhyam—by the name; yaḥ—who; icchet—may desire; śreyaḥ—the goal of life; ātmanaḥ—of the self; ekam hi eva—only the one; hareḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tatra—in that; kāraṇam—the cause; pāda-sevanam—worshiping the lotus feet.
Any person who desires the fruits of the four principles religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and, at the end, liberation, should engage himself in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for worship of His lotus feet yields the fulfillment of all of these.
In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that only with the sanction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can the demigods offer benedictions. Therefore, whenever any sacrifice is offered to a demigod, the Supreme Lord in the form of nārāyaṇa-śilā, or śālagrāma-śilā, is put forward to observe the sacrifice. Actually, the demigods cannot give any benediction without the sanction of the Supreme Lord. Nārada Muni, therefore, advised that even for religiosity, economic development, sense gratification or liberation, one should approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, offer prayers and ask for the fulfillment of one’s desire at the lotus feet of the Lord. That is real intelligence. An intelligent person never goes to demigods to pray for anything. He goes directly to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the cause of all benediction.
As Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa has said in Bhagavad-gītā, performance of ritualistic ceremonies is not actually religion. The real path of religion is to surrender at the lotus feet of the Lord. For one who is actually surrendered to the lotus feet of the Lord, there is no question of any separate endeavor for economic development. A devotee engaged in service to the Lord is not disappointed in the satisfaction of his senses. If he wants to satisfy his senses, Kṛṣṇa fulfills that desire. As far as liberation is concerned, any devotee fully engaged in the service of the Lord is already liberated; therefore there is no separate necessity for his liberation.
Nārada Muni therefore advised Dhruva Mahārāja to take shelter of Vāsudeva, Lord Kṛṣṇa, and engage himself in the way that his mother had advised, for that would help him fulfill his desire. In this verse Nārada Muni has especially stressed the devotional service of the Lord as the only way. In other words, even if one is full of material desires, he can continue his devotional service to the Lord, and all his desires will be fulfilled.
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