Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.12

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ŚB 2.3.12

ज्ञानं यदाप्रतिनिवृत्तगुणोर्मिचक्र –
मात्मप्रसाद उत यत्र गुणेष्वसङ्ग: ।
कैवल्यसम्मतपथस्त्वथ भक्तियोग:
को निर्वृतो हरिकथासु रतिं न कुर्यात् ॥ १२ ॥
jñānaṁ yad āpratinivṛtta-guṇormi-cakram
ātma-prasāda uta yatra guṇeṣv asaṅgaḥ
kaivalya-sammata-pathas tv atha bhakti-yogaḥ
ko nirvṛto hari-kathāsu ratiṁ na kuryāt


jñānam — knowledge; yat — that which; ā — up to the limit of; pratinivṛtta — completely withdrawn; guṇaūrmi — the waves of the material modes; cakram — whirlpool; ātmaprasādaḥ — self-satisfaction; uta — moreover; yatra — where there is; guṇeṣu — in the modes of nature; asaṅgaḥ — no attachment; kaivalya — transcendental; sammata — approved; pathaḥ — path; tu — but; atha — therefore; bhaktiyogaḥ — devotional service; kaḥ — who; nirvṛtaḥ — absorbed in; harikathāsu — in the transcendental topics of the Lord; ratim — attraction; na — shall not; kuryāt — do.


Transcendental knowledge in relation with the Supreme Lord Hari is knowledge resulting in the complete suspension of the waves and whirlpools of the material modes. Such knowledge is self-satisfying due to its being free from material attachment, and being transcendental it is approved by authorities. Who could fail to be attracted?


According to Bhagavad-gītā (10.9) the characteristics of pure devotees are wonderful. The complete functional activities of a pure devotee are always engaged in the service of the Lord, and thus the pure devotees exchange feelings of ecstasy between themselves and relish transcendental bliss. This transcendental bliss is experienced even in the stage of devotional practice (sādhana-avasthā), if properly undertaken under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. And in the mature stage the developed transcendental feeling culminates in realization of the particular relationship with the Lord by which a living entity is originally constituted (up to the relationship of conjugal love with the Lord, which is estimated to be the highest transcendental bliss). Thus bhakti-yoga, being the only means of God realization, is called kaivalya. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī quotes the Vedic version (eko nārāyaṇo devaḥ, parāvarāṇāṁ parama āste kaivalya-saṁjñitaḥ) in this connection and establishes that Nārāyaṇa, the Personality of Godhead, is known as kaivalya, and the means which enables one to approach the Lord is called the kaivalya-panthā, or the only means of attainment of Godhead. This kaivalya-panthā begins from śravaṇa, or hearing those topics that relate to the Personality of Godhead, and the natural consequence of hearing such hari-kathā is attainment of transcendental knowledge, which causes detachment from all mundane topics, for which a devotee has no taste at all. For a devotee, all mundane activities, social and political, become unattractive, and in the mature state such a devotee becomes uninterested even in his own body, and what to speak of bodily relatives. In such a state of affairs one is not agitated by the waves of the material modes. There are different modes of material nature, and all mundane functions in which a common man is very much interested or in which he takes part become unattractive for the devotee. This state of affairs is described herein as pratinivṛtta-guṇormi, and it is possible by ātma-prasāda, or complete self-satisfaction without any material connection. The first-class devotee of the Lord attains this stage by devotional service, but despite his loftiness, for the Lord’s satisfaction he may play the voluntary part of a preacher of the Lord’s glory and dovetail all into devotional service, even mundane interest, just to give the neophytes a chance to transform mundane interest into transcendental bliss. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has described this action of a pure devotee as nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate. Even mundane activities dovetailed with service to the Lord are also calculated to be transcendental or approved kaivalya affairs.

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