NoD 4: Devotional Service Surpasses All Liberation
How much a devotee is seriously attached to the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be understood from the statement of Maharaja Prthu (Adi-raja) which is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Fourth Canto, Twentieth Chapter, verse 24. He prays to the Supreme Personality of Godhead thus: “My dear Lord, if after taking liberation I have no chance of hearing the glories of Your Lordship, glories chanted by pure devotees from the core of their hearts in praise of Your lotus feet, and if I have no chance for this honey of transcendental bliss, then I shall never ask for liberation or this so-called spiritual emancipation. I shall simply always pray unto Your Lordship that You may give me millions of tongues and millions of ears, so that I can constantly chant and hear of Your transcendental glories.”
The impersonalists desire to merge into the existence of the Supreme, but without keeping their individuality they have no chance of hearing and chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord. Because they have no idea of the transcendental form of the Supreme Lord, there is no chance of their chanting and hearing of His transcendental activities. In other words, unless one is already beyond liberation, one cannot relish the transcendental glories of the Lord, nor can one understand the transcendental form of the Lord.
A similar statement is found in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Fifth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 44. Sukadeva Gosvami addresses Pariksit Maharaja there and says, “The great soul King Bharata was so much attached to the service of the lotus feet of Krsna that he very easily gave up his lordship over the earthly planet and his affection for his children, society, friends, royal opulence and beautiful wife. He was so very lucky that the goddess of fortune was pleased to offer him all kinds of material concessions, but he never accepted any of these material opulences.” Sukadeva Gosvami praises this behavior of King Bharata very highly. He says, “Any person whose heart is attracted by the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Madhusudana, does not care even for that liberation which is aspired to by many great sages, what to speak of material opulences.”
In the Bhagavatam, Sixth Canto, Eleventh Chapter, verse 25, there is a similar statement by Vrtrasura, who addresses the Lord as follows: “My dear Lord, by leaving Your transcendental service I may be promoted to the planet called Dhruvaloka [the polestar], or I may gain lordship over all the planetary systems of the universe. But I do not aspire to this. Nor do I wish the mystic perfections of yoga practice, nor do I aspire to spiritual emancipation. All I wish for, my Lord, is Your association and transcendental service eternally.”
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