By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

In the Fifth Canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Sixth Chapter, 18th verse, Nārada says to Yudhisthira, “My dear King, it is Lord Krishna, known as Mukunda, who is the eternal protector of the Pāndavas and the Yadus. He is also your spiritual master and instructor in every respect. He is the only worshipable God for you. He is very dear and affectionate, and He is the director of all your activities, both individual and familial. And what’s more, He sometimes carries out your orders as if He were your messenger! My dear King, how very fortunate you are because for others all these favors given to you by the Supreme Lord would not even be dreamt of.” The purport of this verse is that the Lord easily offers liberation, but He rarely agrees to offer a soul devotional service, because by devotional service the Lord Himself becomes purchased by the devotee.”

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says that if brahmānanda, or the happiness of becoming one with the Supreme, is multiplied by one trillionfold, still, it cannot be compared with an atomic fraction of the happiness derived from the ocean of devotional service. In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya… Prahlāda Mahārāja, while satisfying Lord Nrsimha by his prayers, says, “My dear Lord of the universe, I am feeling transcendental pleasure in Your presence and have become merged in the ocean of happiness. I now consider the happiness of brahmānanda to be no more than the water in the impression left by a cow’s hoof in the earth, compared to this ocean of bliss.” Similarly, it is confirmed in the Bhāvārtha-dīpikā, Śrīdhara Swami’s commentary on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: “My dear Lord, some of the fortunate persons who are swimming in the ocean of Your nectar of devotion, and who are relishing the nectar of the narration of Your pastimes, certainly know ecstasies which immediately minimize the value of the happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and liberation. Such a transcendental devotee regards any kind of happiness other than devotional service as no better than straw in the street.”

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has stated that devotional service attracts even Krishna. Krishna attracts everyone, but devotional service attracts Krishna. The symbol of devotional service in the highest degree is Rādhārānī. Krishna is called Madana-mohana, which means that He is so attractive that He can defeat the attraction of thousands of Cupids. But Rādhārānī is still more attractive, for She can even attract Krishna. Therefore devotees call Her Madana-mohana-mohinī, the attractor of the attractor of Cupid.

To perform devotional service means to follow in the footsteps of Rādhārānī , and devotees in Vrndāvana put themselves under the care of Rādhārānī  in order to achieve perfection in their devotional service. In other words, devotional service is not an activity of the material world; it is directly under the control of Rādhārānī . In Bhagavad-gītā it is confirmed that the mahātmās, or great souls, are under the protection of daivī prakrti, the internal energy—Rādhārānī . So, being directly under the control of the internal potency of Krishna, devotional service attracts even Krishna Himself.

[An excerpt from the Nectar of Devotion, the summary study of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu.]





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