na kāma-karma-bījānāḿ
yasya cetasi sambhavaḥ
sa vai bhāgavatottamaḥ

na — never; kāma — of lust; karma — fruitive work; bījānām — or of material hankerings, which are the seeds of fruitive activity; yasya — of whom; cetasi —in the mind; sambhavaḥ — chance to arise; vāsudeva-eka-nilayaḥ — one for whom the Supreme Lord, Vāsudeva, is the only shelter; saḥ — he; vai — indeed;bhāgavata-uttamaḥ — is a first-class devotee.

One who has taken exclusive shelter of the Supreme Lord, Vāsudeva, becomes free from fruitive activities, which are based on material lust. In fact, one who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord is freed from even the desire to enjoy material sense gratification. Plans for enjoying sex life, social prestige and money cannot develop within his mind. Thus he is considered bhāgavatottama, a pure devotee of the Lord on the highest platform. (Srimad bhagavatam).

According to Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī, this verse describes the behaviour of a devotee of the Lord. The activities of a pure devotee are devoid of material envy, false elation, delusion and lust.

According to the Vaiṣṇava commentators, the word bījānām in this verse refers to vāsanāḥ, or deeply rooted desires, which gradually fructify in the form of activities, for which the living entity becomes subject to reactions. Thus the compound word kāma-karma-bījānām indicates the deep-rooted desire to lord it over the material world through the enjoyment of sexual pleasure and the expansions of sexual pleasure mentioned in the Srimad Bhāgavatam :-

puḿsaḥ striyā mithunī-bhāvam etaḿ
tayor mitho hṛdaya-granthim āhuḥ
ato gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittair
janasya moho 'yam ahaḿ mameti

puḿsaḥ — of a male; striyāḥ — of a female; mithunī-bhāvam — attraction for sexual life; etam — this; tayoḥ — of both of them; mithaḥ — between one another; hṛdaya-granthim — the knot of the hearts; āhuḥ — they call; ataḥ — thereafter; gṛha — by home; kṣetra — field; suta — children; āpta — relatives;vittaiḥ — and by wealth; janasya — of the living being; mohaḥ — illusion; ayam — this; aham — I; mama — mine; iti — thus.

The attraction between male and female is the basic principle of material existence. On the basis of this misconception, which ties together the hearts of the male and female, one becomes attracted to his body, home, property, children, relatives and wealth. In this way one increases life's illusions and thinks in terms of "I and mine."

Sex serves as the natural attraction between man and woman, and when they are married, their relationship becomes more involved. Due to the entangling relationship between man and woman, there is a sense of illusion whereby one thinks, "This man is my husband," or "This woman is my wife."

This is called hṛdaya-granthi, "the hard knot in the heart." This knot is very difficult to undo, even though a man and woman separate either for the principles of varṇāśrama or simply to get a divorce.

In any case, the man always thinks of the woman, and the woman always thinks of the man. Thus a person becomes materially attached to family, property and children, although all of these are temporary. The possessor unfortunately identifies with his property and wealth.

Sometimes, even after renunciation, one becomes attached to a temple or to the few things that constitute the property of a sannyāsī, but such attachment is not as strong as family attachment. The attachment to the family is the strongest illusion.

In the Satya-saḿhitā, it is stated:

brahmādyā yājñavalkādyā
mucyante strī-sahāyinaḥ
bodhyante kecanaiteṣāḿ
viśeṣam ca vido viduḥ

Sometimes it is found among exalted personalities like Lord Brahmā that the wife and children are not a cause of bondage. On the contrary, the wife actually helps further spiritual life and liberation. Nonetheless, most people are bound by the knots of the marital relationship, and consequently they forget their relationship with Kṛṣṇa.

Because of this bodily concept of life and the shackles of illusion, the whole world is being violently shaken by conflict arising from envy and lust. The only possible solution is to accept the leadership of the Lord's pure devotees, who are described here.

A pure devotee of the Lord who has completely taken shelter of the Lord's lotus feet cannot even consider taking part in material envy and sense gratification. His mind remains perpetually clear and sober, and he is always aware of the ultimate good of every living entity.

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is strenuously endeavouring to inform the earth's suffering living entities of the serious need for a brain in human society. A brain racked by fever cannot give proper direction, and if the so-called thinkers of society are burning with selfish desires, they are no better than feverish, delirious brains.

Delirious governments are gradually destroying all traces of happiness in human society. Therefore it is the duty of Vaiṣṇava preachers to act on the platform of bhāgavatottama so that they can give clear guidance to humanity, without being corrupted or even slightly attracted by the material opulence that may be offered to a saintly person.

All intelligent human beings who are unable to take directly to the process of bhakti-yoga should at least be sufficiently educated to recognize the first-class devotee of the Lord and accept his guidance. In this way human society can be very nicely organized so that not only all human beings but even the animals, birds and trees can make advancement in life and gradually go back home, back to Godhead, for an eternal life of bliss and knowledge.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has emphasized that those seriously interested in achieving the perfection of Kṛṣṇa consciousness must live in a community of Vaiṣṇavas.

Śrīla Prabhupāda has also mentioned several times in his literature that it is not possible to achieve the stage of perfect Kṛṣṇa consciousness unless one accepts the shelter of the pure devotees by living in the Kṛṣṇa conscious communities being established all over the world by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has emphasized that this does not mean that spiritual life is restricted only to those celibate students who can live within a temple compound. Devotees in the gṛhastha order, that of spiritual family life, can also take shelter of theVaiṣṇava community by regularly attending temple functions.

Those who are living in family life should daily see the Deity of the Supreme Lord, chant His holy names in His personal presence, accept the remnants of food offered to the Deity and hear learned discourses on Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Any householder who regularly takes advantage of these spiritual facilities and follows the regulative principles of spiritual life, namely no meat-eating, no illicit sex, no gambling and no intoxication, is to be considered a bona fide member of the Vaiṣṇava community.

According to Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, those who remain inimical to the devotional service of the Lord are to be considered lifeless puppets in the hands of the illusory energy of the Lord.

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