|Canto 4: Creation of the Fourth Order||Chapter 21: Instructions by Mahārāja Pṛthu|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.21.40
pumān labhetānativelam ātmanaḥ
prasīdato 'tyanta-śamaḿ svataḥ svayam
paraḿ kim atrāsti mukhaḿ havir-bhujām
pumān — a person; labheta — can achieve; anati-velam — without delay; ātmanaḥ — of his soul; prasīdataḥ — being satisfied; atyanta — the greatest; śamam — peace; svataḥ — automatically; svayam — personally; yat — whose; nitya — regular; sambandha — relationship; niṣevayā — by dint of service; tataḥ — after that; param — superior; kim — what; atra — here; asti — there is; mukham — happiness; haviḥ — clarified butter; bhujām — those who drink.
By regular service to the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas, one can clear the dirt from his heart and thus enjoy supreme peace and liberation from material attachment and be satisfied. In this world there is no fruitive activity superior to serving the brāhmaṇa class, for this can bring pleasure to the demigods, for whom the many sacrifices are recommended.
In Bhagavad-gītā (2.65) it is said: prasāde sarva-duḥkhānāḿ hānir asyopajāyate. Unless one is self-satisfied, he cannot be free from the miserable conditions of material existence. Therefore it is essential to render service to the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas to achieve the perfection of self-satisfaction. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura therefore says:
tāńdera caraṇa sevi bhakta-sane vāsa
janame janame haya, ei abhilāṣa
"Birth after birth I desire to serve the lotus feet of the ācāryas and live in a society of devotees." A spiritual atmosphere can be maintained only by living in a society of devotees and by serving the orders of the ācāryas. The spiritual master is the best brāhmaṇa. At present, in the age of Kali, it is very difficult to render service to the brāhmaṇa-kula, or the brāhmaṇa class. The difficulty, according to the Varāha Purāṇa, is that demons, taking advantage of Kali-yuga, have taken birth in brāhmaṇa families. Rākṣasāḥ kalim āśritya jāyante brahma-yoniṣu (Varāha Purāṇa). In other words, in this age there are many so-called caste brāhmaṇas and caste Gosvāmīs who, taking advantage of the śāstra and of the innocence of people in general, claim to be brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas by hereditary right. One will not derive any benefit by rendering service to such false brāhmaṇa-kulas. One must therefore take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and his associates and should also render service to them, for such activity will greatly help the neophyte in attaining full satisfaction. This has been very clearly explained by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura in his explanation of the verse vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana (Bg. 2.41). By actually following the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga as recommended by Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, one can very quickly come to the transcendental platform of liberation, as explained in this verse (atyanta-śamam).
The particular use of the word anativelam ("without delay") is very significant because simply by serving brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas one can get liberation. There is no need to undergo severe penances and austerities. The vivid example of this is Nārada Muni himself. In his previous birth, he was simply a maidservant's son, but he got the opportunity to serve exalted brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas, and thus in his next life he not only became liberated, but became famous as the supreme spiritual master of the entire Vaiṣṇava disciplic succession. According to the Vedic system, therefore, it is customarily recommended that after performing a ritualistic ceremony, one should feed the brāhmaṇas.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness