tasminn u ha va upasama-silah paramarsayah sakala-jiva-nikayavasasya bhagavato vasudevasya bhitanam sarana-bhutasya srimac-caranaravindavirata-smaranavigalita-parama-bhakti-yoganu-bhavena paribhavitantar-hrdayadhigate bhagavati sarvesam bhutanam atma-bhute pratyag-atmany evatmanas tadatmyam avisesena samiyuh.
tasmin—in that paramahamsa-asrama; u—certainly; ha—so celebrated; va—indeed; upasama-silah—in the renounced order of life; parama-rsayah—the great sages; sakala—all; jiva—of living entities; nikaya—in total; avasasya—the residence; bhagavatah—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vasudevasya—Lord Vasudeva; bhitanam—of those afraid of material existence; sarana-bhutasya—the one who is the only shelter; srimat—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; carana-aravinda—the lotus feet; avirata—constantly; smarana—remembering; avigalita—completely uncontaminated; parama—supreme; bhakti-yoga—of mystic devotional service; anubhavena—by the prowess; paribhavita—purified; antah—within; hrdaya—the heart; adhigate—perceived; bhagavati—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sarvesam—of all; bhutanam—living entities; atma-bhute—situated within the body; pratyak—directly; atmani—with the Supreme Supersoul; eva—certainly; atmanah—of the self; tadatmyam—qualitative equality; avisesena—without differences; samiyuh—realized.
Thus situated in the renounced order from the beginning of their lives, all three of them completely controlled the activities of their senses and thus became great saints. They concentrated their minds always upon the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the resting place of the totality of living entities and who is therefore celebrated as Vasudeva. Lord Vasudeva is the only shelter of those who are actually afraid of material existence. By constantly thinking of His lotus feet, these three sons of Maharaja Priyavrata became advanced in pure devotional service. By the prowess of their devotional service, they could directly perceive the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul, and realize that there was qualitatively no difference between themselves and Him.
The paramahamsa stage is the topmost position in renounced life. In sannyasa, the renounced order, there are four stages—kuticaka, bahudaka, parivrajakacarya and paramahamsa. According to the Vedic system, when one accepts the renounced order, he stays outside his village in a cottage, and his necessities, especially his food, are supplied from home. This is called the kuticaka stage. When a sannyasi advances further, he no longer accepts anything from home: instead, he collects his necessities, especially his food, from many places. This system is called madhukari, which literally means “the profession of the bumblebees.” As bumblebees collect honey from many flowers, a little from each, so a sannyasi should beg from door to door but not accept very much food from any particular house; he should collect a little bit from every house. This is called the bahudaka stage. When a sannyasi is still more experienced, he travels all over the world to preach the glories of Lord Vasudeva. He is then known as parivrajakacarya. The sannyasi reaches the paramahamsa stage when he finishes his preaching work and sits down in one place, strictly for the sake of advancing in spiritual life. An actual paramahamsa is one who completely controls his senses and engages in the unalloyed service of the Lord. Therefore all three of these sons of Priyavrata, namely Kavi, Mahavira and Savana, were situated in the paramahamsa stage from the very beginning. Their senses could not disturb them, for their senses were completely engaged in serving the Lord. Therefore the three brothers are described in this verse as upasama-silah. Upasama means “completely subdued.” Because they completely subdued their senses, they are understood to have been great sages and saints.
After subduing their senses, the three brothers concentrated their minds upon the lotus feet of Vasudeva, Lord Krsna. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (7.19), vasudevah sarvam iti. The lotus feet of Vasudeva are everything. Lord Vasudeva is the reservoir of all living entities. When this cosmic manifestation is dissolved, all living entities enter the supreme body of the Lord, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, who merges within the body of Maha-Visnu. Both of these visnu-tattvas are vasudeva-tattvas, and therefore the great sages Kavi, Mahavira and Savana concentrated always upon the lotus feet of Lord Vasudeva, Krsna. In this way they could understand that the Supersoul within the heart is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and they could recognize their identity with Him. The complete description of this realization is that simply by discharging the unalloyed form of devotional service, one can realize his self completely. The parama-bhakti-yoga mentioned in this verse means that a living entity, by dint of unalloyed devotional service, has no other interest than the service of the Lord, as described in Bhagavad-gita (vasudevah sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]). By parama-bhakti-yoga, by elevating oneself to the highest platform of loving service, one can automatically be relieved from the bodily concept of life and see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. As confirmed in Brahma-samhita:
An advanced devotee, who is known as a sat, or saint, can always see within his heart the Supreme Personality of Godhead, face to face. Krsna, Syamasundara, expands Himself by His plenary portion, and thus a devotee can always see Him within his heart.
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