VISHNU WORSHIP IS NOT ALWAYS DEVOTIONAL SERVICE

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Devotee: The Bhagavad-gītā says that if one performs devotional service, then its result is never lost. Then how was it possible for Ajāmila to lose all his devotional service to Vishnu by associating with a prostitute?

Prabhupāda: He was not in devotional service.

Devotee: He was not serving Vishnu?

Prabhupāda: He was trained in Vishnu worship. Vishnu worship is not always devotional service. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He was presented by Rāmānanda Rāya about Vishnu worship, He said, “No, no. This is not the right description. You go further.” Eho bāhya āge kaha āra [CC Madhya 8.59]. Because unless they understand what Vishnu…, simple official Vishnu worship will not help. One has to become a real devotee. Anyābhilāsitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. Generally one goes to Vishnu, or any other demigod, for asking something. People are very much addicted to material enjoyment. Bhakti means śuddha-bhakti. Anyābhilāsitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. That is the transcendental platform.

Then there is viddha-bhakti. So one who goes to worship Vishnu for some material benediction… Just like Dhruva Mahārāja went. That was bhakti, but that was viddha-bhakti, adulterated. Dhruva Mahārāja went to gain his father’s kingdom. That is arthārthī (desirous of wealth). Catur-vidhā bhajante mām (Bg 7.16). Four kinds of men worship Vishnu: ārta, those who are distressed; arthārthī, those who are in need of money or material benefit; jijnāsu, those who are inquisitive; and jnānī, those who are in knowledge. Out of these, jijnāsu and jnānī are better than the ārta and arthārthī, the distressed and the desirous of money.

So even the jnānī and jijnāsu, they are not on the platform of pure devotional service because pure devotional service is beyond jnāna also. Jnāna-karmādy-anāvrtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Just like gopīs, they did not try to understand Krishna by jnāna, whether Krishna is Bhagavān (God)? No. They simply automatically developed—not automatically; by their previous good activities—acute love for Krishna. They never tried to understand Krishna, whether He is God. When Uddhava tried to preach before them about jnāna they did not hear it very attentively. They were simply absorbed in thoughts of Krishna. That is the perfection of Krishna consciousness. Never mind Krishna worship, but one should love Krishna – that is wanted. That is spontaneous love. Real love means spontaneous. A lover does not consider what the opposite party is, whether he is a rich man, whether he is an educated man or … There is no such consideration. Love is spontaneous. Similarly, love for Krishna should be simply spontaneous, without any consideration. Āślisya vā pāda-ratām pinastu mām: [Cc. Antya 20.47] “Either You trample down under Your feet or embrace me, still, I love You.” That is love, that kind of love. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

[Prabhupada is speaking during the question and answer session after a lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam (6.1.56-62) in Surat, India on January 3, 1971.]

ALSO READ:
HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF RELIGIOUS IF YOU DO NOT LOVE GOD?
KRISHNA ATTRACTS EVERYONE BUT DEVOTIONAL SERVICE ATTRACTS KRISHNA
DIALOGUE BETWEEN CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU AND CHAND KAZI ON COW KILLING
BHAKTI IS NOT INERTNESS – IT IS ACTIVE SERVICE
REAL AND UNREAL PROPERTY
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One thought on “VISHNU WORSHIP IS NOT ALWAYS DEVOTIONAL SERVICE

  1. will you please tell me what Jnan means…. Stupid…. It is not jnaan, It Is Gyaan.. Not Jnaan. what is ज्नान…? Stupid people ज्ञ is pronounced as Gya, NOT JNA.

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