Even if we have got material desires... Generally, a devotee has no material desires, a pure devotee. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. But even one has got some material desires to be fulfilled, if he worships Krsna, that desires will be fulfilled. At the same time, he'll get shelter under the lotus feet of the Lord. This is the advantage. Go on.

Pradyumna: "Devotional service can in fact be attained only through the mercy of a pure devotee. In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said, 'By the mercy of the spiritual master who is a pure devotee and by the mercy of Krsna, one can achieve the platform of devotional service. There is no other way.' The rarity of devotional service is also confirmed in the tantra-sastra, where Lord Siva says to Sati, 'My dear Sati, if one is a very fine philosopher, analyzing the different processes of knowledge, he can achieve liberation from the material entanglement. By performance of the ritualistic sacrifices recommended in the Vedas, one can be elevated to the platform of pious activities and thereby enjoy the material comforts of life to the fullest extent. But all such endeavors can hardly offer anyone devotional service to the Lord, not even if one tries for it by such processes for many, many thousands of births.' "

Prabhupada: You cannot achieve the platform of devotional service by karma-kanda and jnana-kanda processes. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura sings,

karma-kanda jnana-kanda sakali visera bhanda
amrta baliya yeba khaya
nana yoni brahman kare, kadarya bhaksana kare
tara janma adho pate yaya

So jnana-karmady-anavrtam: [Cc. Madhya 19.167] "Devotional service should not be contaminated by jnana-kanda, karma-kanda, by fruitive activities or mental speculation." Devotional service should be taken exactly in the line of the great authorities. Just like our sampradaya, Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya, they are following... Rupanuga.

sri-rupa sanatana bhatta-raghunatha
sri-jiva gopala-bhatta dasa-raghunatha

Ei chaya gosai yara tara mui dasa. We have to follow the principles of these six Gosvamis. That will make us happy. Otherwise, if we adopt the ritualistic ceremonies, subha-karma... Sama-subha-kriya matir pramadah. If we take devotional service as one of the pious activities, subha-kriya, that is offense. We should not take devotional service, or chanting of Hare Krsna mantra, equal to some Vedic pious activities, ritualistic ceremonies. It is offense. We should simply follow the path... That is also Vedic. But because we cannot select... Vedesu adurlabha. If we study Vedas independently, without going through the lines chalked out by the six Gosvamis, then we'll be misled. Vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. These Gosvamis, they were personal devotees of Lord Krsna. They are eternal associates of the Lord. Therefore if we follow their principle, our success if guaranteed. But if we take to the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies without any reference to the path chalked out by the Gosvamis, it will not be possible to be successful.

Devotional service is not dependent on subhasubha-karma. It is simply dependent on the mercy of Krsna and His devotees. Krsna de... Sadhu. Guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Guru-krsna-krpaya. Naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim [SB 7.5.32], mahiyasam pada-rajo-'bhisekam niskincananam na vrnita ya... Unless we surrender to the lotus feet of a pure devotee, it is not possible to come to the platform of devotional service. That is the way. We cannot taste the honey within the bottle. The bottle must be opened by the expert. If you simply lick up the bottle, if we think, "Now we are tasting honey," that is not the proper way. We should get the bottle opened by the expert, and when we taste within the bottle, then actually... Similarly, devotional service, without being opened by the..., open, without the door being opened by the devotee, we cannot enter into the region. Guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Therefore the process is, as recommended by Srila Rupa Gosvami, adau gurvasrayam. You must select, you must accept the guru who's coming in parampara system. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. Sampradaya. That is recommended. We have got Vaisnava-sampradaya, four sampradaya: Ramanuja-sampradaya, Madhva-sampradaya, Nimbarka-sampradaya. So intelligent persons should select guru from these sampradayas and follow his instruction. Then the path of devotional service will be very easily opened. This is the way. Yes? Go on.

Pradyumna: "In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is also confirmed by Prahlada Maharaja that merely by personal efforts or by the instructions of higher authorities one cannot attain to the stage of devotional service. One must become blessed by the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee who is completely freed from the contamination of material desires."

Prabhupada: Yes. Niskincanam, the devotee, the... You have to select a guru who is niskincana. Niskincana means who has no more anything materially desires. He has finished. The, another verse:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam
[SB 11.3.21]

One who has accept..., accepted the lotus feet of the Lord, brahmany upasama, he has finished the material desires -- no more material desires. Niskin... That is called niskincana. Caitanya Mahaprabhu also said, niskincanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya. Bhagavad-bhajanonmukha, those who are actually desiring to be entered into the path of devotional service, must be niskincana. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said. Niskincanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya param param jigamisor bhava-sagarasya. Bhagavad-bhajana means to go on the other side of the ocean of nescience, not in this material world. Anyone who is desiring to be promoted to the heavenly planet, Svargaloka, Janaloka, Maharloka, Tapoloka, Brahmaloka... There are so many higher planetary systems. But a bhagavad-bhakta, devotee, knows that they are unnecessary. A-brahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino 'rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. Again we have to come back. Ksine ksine punye martya-lokam visanti [Bg. 9.21]. So this botheration is not very much liked by the pure devotee. Pure devotee does not... Even if he's offered such... Of course, a pure devotee (is) never offered such material benefits. Because Krsna says, "The pure devotee, after giving up this body..." Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. Punar janma means to take birth in one of the planets, or in one of the species of, out of eight million four hundred thousand species of life. That is called punar janma. But the devotees who are following Caitanya Mahaprabhu's instruction, they do not mind, even there is birth again. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, janmani janmani bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi. So even there is birth... Just like Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, kita janma hao yatha tuya dasa. "My dear Lord, if You like that I shall take birth again, so kindly give my birth in a place where there is Your devotee." That is wanted. Bahir-mukha-brahma-janma nahi mora asa. "And if I become nondevotee and take my birth as Lord Brahma, I don't want it. Let me become an insect in the house of a devotee." This is the aspiration... The same thing is explained here. Because without the benediction of a pure devotee, it is not possible to enter into the path of devotional service.

Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)
The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, November 10, 1972

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