|Canto 3: The Status Quo||Chapter 25: The Glories of Devotional Service|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.25.38
na karhicin mat-parāḥ śānta-rūpe
nańkṣyanti no me 'nimiṣo leḍhi hetiḥ
yeṣām ahaḿ priya ātmā sutaś ca
sakhā guruḥ suhṛdo daivam iṣṭam
na — not; karhicit — ever; mat-parāḥ — My devotees; śānta-rūpe — O mother; nańkṣyanti — will lose; no — not; me — My; animiṣaḥ — time; leḍhi — destroys; hetiḥ — weapon; yeṣām — of whom; aham — I; priyaḥ — dear; ātmā — self; sutaḥ — son; ca — and; sakhā — friend; guruḥ — preceptor; suhṛdaḥ — benefactor; daivam — Deity; iṣṭam — chosen.
The Lord continued: My dear mother, devotees who receive such transcendental opulences are never bereft of them; neither weapons nor the change of time can destroy such opulences. Because the devotees accept Me as their friend, their relative, their son, preceptor, benefactor and Supreme Deity, they cannot be deprived of their possessions at any time.
It is stated in Bhagavad-gītā that one may elevate himself to the higher planetary systems, even up to Brahmaloka, by dint of pious activities, but when the effects of such pious activities are finished, one again comes back to this earth to begin a new life of activities. Thus even though one is promoted to the higher planetary system for enjoyment and a long duration of life, still that is not a permanent settlement. But as far as the devotees are concerned, their assets — the achievement of devotional service and the consequent opulence of Vaikuṇṭha, even on this planet — are never destroyed. In this verse Kapiladeva addresses His mother as śānta-rūpā, indicating that the opulences of devotees are fixed because devotees are eternally fixed in the Vaikuṇṭha atmosphere, which is called śānta-rūpa because it is in the mode of pure goodness, undisturbed by the modes of passion and ignorance. Once one is fixed in the devotional service of the Lord, his position of transcendental service cannot be destroyed, and the pleasure and service simply increase unlimitedly. For the devotees engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in the Vaikuṇṭha atmosphere, there is no influence of time. In the material world the influence of time destroys everything, but in the Vaikuṇṭha atmosphere there is no influence of time or of the demigods because there are no demigods in the Vaikuṇṭha planets. Here our activities are controlled by different demigods; even if we move our hand and leg, the action is controlled by the demigods. But in the Vaikuṇṭha atmosphere there is no influence of the demigods or of time; therefore there is no question of destruction. When the time element is present, there is the certainty of destruction, but when there is no time element — past, present or future — then everything is eternal. Therefore this verse uses the words na nańkṣyanti, indicating that the transcendental opulences will never be destroyed.
The reason for freedom from destruction is also described. The devotees accept the Supreme Lord as the most dear personality and reciprocate with Him in different relationships. They accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the dearmost friend, the dearmost relative, the dearmost son, the dearmost preceptor, the dearmost well-wisher or the dearmost Deity. The Lord is eternal; therefore any relationship in which we accept Him is also eternal. It is clearly confirmed herein that the relationships cannot be destroyed, and therefore the opulences of those relationships are never destroyed. Every living entity has the propensity to love someone. We can see that if someone has no object of love, he generally directs his love to a pet animal like a cat or a dog. Thus the eternal propensity for love in all living entities is always searching for a place to reside. From this verse we can learn that we can love the Supreme Personality of Godhead as our dearmost object — as a friend, as a son, as a preceptor or as a well-wisher — and there will be no cheating and no end to such love. We shall eternally enjoy the relationship with the Supreme Lord in different aspects. A special feature of this verse is the acceptance of the Supreme Lord as the supreme preceptor. Bhagavad-gītā was spoken directly by the Supreme Lord, and Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as guru, or spiritual master. Similarly, we should accept only Kṛṣṇa as the supreme spiritual master.
Kṛṣṇa, of course, means Kṛṣṇa and His confidential devotees; Kṛṣṇa is not alone. When we speak of Kṛṣṇa, "Kṛṣṇa" means Kṛṣṇa in His name, in His form, in His qualities, in His abode and in His associates. Kṛṣṇa is never alone, for the devotees of Kṛṣṇa are not impersonalists. For example, a king is always associated with his secretary, his commander, his servant and so much paraphernalia. As soon as we accept Kṛṣṇa and His associates as our preceptors, no ill effects can destroy our knowledge. In the material world the knowledge which we acquire may change because of the influence of time, but nevertheless the conclusions received from Bhagavad-gītā, directly from the speeches of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, can never change. There is no use interpreting Bhagavad-gītā; it is eternal.
Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, should be accepted as one's best friend. He will never cheat. He will always give His friendly advice and friendly protection to the devotee. If Kṛṣṇa is accepted as a son, He will never die. Here we have a very loving son or child, but the father and mother, or those who are affectionate towards him, always hope, "May my son not die." But Kṛṣṇa actually never will die. Therefore those who accept Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Lord, as their son will never be bereft of their son. In many instances devotees have accepted the Deity as a son. In Bengal there are many such instances, and even after the death of the devotee, the Deity performs the śrāddha ceremony for the father. The relationship is never destroyed. People are accustomed to worship different forms of demigods, but in Bhagavad-gītā such a mentality is condemned; therefore one should be intelligent enough to worship only the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His different forms such as Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa, Sītā-Rāma and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Thus one will never be cheated. By worshiping the demigods one may elevate himself to the higher planets, but during the dissolution of the material world, the deity and the abode of the deity will be destroyed. But one who worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead is promoted to the Vaikuṇṭha planets, where there is no influence of time, destruction or annihilation. The conclusion is that the time influence cannot act upon devotees who have accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead as everything.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness