By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
All the six Gosvāmīs of Vrindavana were not inactive. They were always active. As we are active in the karma, or karmī life, similarly bhakti life is also activity. It is not sitting down idly or gossiping. One must find out some job to serve Krishna. That is bhakti life. Hrsīkeśa hrsīkena-sevanam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Sevanam means activity. Sevanam does not mean to sit down idle, or inert. No. Sevā means activity. One has to preach, one has to write, one has to do this, do that, cook, offer the prasādam, everything. But there is a difference in that activity and the karmī’s activity.
The karmī’s activity is on upādhi: “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am Christian.” With this upādhi, we are acting. But bhakti means without upādhi. Sarvopādhi-virnirmuktam. Working not as American. Working not as Indian. Working not as Hindu. Working not as Muslim. That is sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. If we think that “I am Christian,” “I am Hindu,” “I am American,” that is working with upādhi. When we purely think that, “I am servant of Krishna. My only business is to satisfy Krishna,” then that activity is called bhakti. If I become interested in some party, that is not bhakti. Sometimes people criticize these American and European devotees. They think that “They are American devotees; we are Hindu devotees. There is difference.” This is not bhakti-mārga. This is upādhi. Why you should think yourself as Hindu? Why you should think of others who have come from America as American? That is less intelligent.
Krishna-bhakta… Vaisnave jāti-buddhih. If one thinks of Vaisnava as belonging to this class, this nation, he has no vision. Nārakī. That is called nārakī-buddhih. Vaisnave jāti-buddhih arcye śilādhīr gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jāti-buddhih. If we think the Deity as made of stone and made of wood (arcye śilā-dhīr), if we accept spiritual master as ordinary human being (gurusu, nara-matih), and vaisnave jāti-buddhih – if we take a Vaisnava as belonging to America or Europe or India, [then we have no vision]. They are transcendental. Neither the Deity in the temple is stone, neither the spiritual master is ordinary human being, nor the Vaisnava belongs to any caste. This vision is perfect vision. When you come to this vision, then that is bhakti. Tat-paratvena nirmalam. A bhakta (devotee) has to become purified. Tat-paratvena, being dovetailed with the service of tat, om tat sat. Tat-param. This is the process of devotional service. One should not be designated “I am this,” “I am that,” “I am that.” No. The world should unite. This Krishna consciousness movement is so nice that one should forget that he’s Indian or Hindu or Christian or American. Everything should unite as servant of Krishna. That is bhakti-mārga (path of devotional service). Unfortunately, they distinguish between American Vaisnava and Indian Vaisnava: brāhmana Vaisnava, śūdra Vaisnava. No. A Vaisnava is Vaisnava. Visnur asya devatah iti vaisnava (devotee of Vishnu or Krishna is known as a Vaisnava). One who has accepted Visnu as his Lord has no designation. A Vaisnava has no such distinction. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170].
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