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Why Devotees are less miserable?

Following is an excerpt from the lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 10, Chapter 85: Lord Krishna Instructs Vasudeva and Retrieves Devaki’s Sons – Verse 15- by Vraj Bihari Das

SB 10.85.15
guna-pravaha etasminn
abudhas tv akhilatmanah
gatim suksmam abodhena
samsarantiha karmabhih


They are truly ignorant who, while imprisoned within the ceaseless flow of this world’s material qualities, fail to know You, the Supreme Soul of all that be, as their ultimate, sublime destination. Because of their ignorance, the entanglement of material work forces such souls to wander in the cycle of birth and death.


A soul who forgets his true identity as a servant of God is sent to this world to be imprisoned in a succession of material bodies. Wrongly identifying himself with these bodies, such a conditioned soul suffers the consequent distress of karmic action and reaction. Vasudeva, as a compassionate Vaisnava, laments for the suffering conditioned souls, whose unhappiness, the result of ignorance, can be remedied by knowledge of the principles of devotional service to Lord Krsna.

Lord Krishna is giving instructions to his father Vasudev. Vasudev treats Krishna as his son alone, initially. Later when he understands that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he begs forgiveness. We are also in ignorance like Vasudev about Krishna. This can be remedied by learning the knowledge of devotion. But to understand the love for Krishna, knowledge is not sufficient. Love and affection for Krishna has to be imbued in all our activities. We are moving close to Krishna when we move from ignorance to knowledge and then knowledge to love.

Acharyas explain that if we have the transcendental knowledge, then we can cut through the cycle of repeated life and death. But if we live in the state of ignorance, even our enjoyment brings only suffering. If there is transcendental knowledge, our sufferings also will bring happiness. All the achievements and pursuits in this world are in ignorance and will end in misery. If we are in ignorance and try to solve a problem, then our trying will create a bigger problem. For example, in ignorance, to solve the problem of walking long distance, we have created automobiles. Now the automobiles had created pollution and breathing problem. Breathing problem is a bigger mess than the walking problem. But if we get out of ignorance, we will no longer want to achieve these temporary goals.

Devotees are devoid of ignorance and have the transcendental knowledge. So, will they be out of misery? No, both devotees and materialistic people are in misery but the devotees know the source of their problems and the solution for them – Krishna. So, devotees are in better state than the materialistic people who did not know the source of their misery and the solution for it. Srimad Bhagavatam gives that transcendental knowledge to the devotees. Srimad Bhagavatam says that Krishna Consciousness is the solution for all miseries in this world.

We know that we were in ignorance and now started learning the knowledge to come out of ignorance. But we are so involved in the pursuit of knowledge, that we forget the purpose of knowledge. We forget that we study all this knowledge is to please Krishna and attract Krishna’s grace. In Bhakti, we depend on the mercy of Krishna. But in other three paths, Karma, Gyana and Yoga, we think that we are the controller. Our knowledge is to accept that we should give up and ask for Krishna’s mercy. With all our knowledge, we may not be able to understand Krishna because knowledge is only to understand that the solution of miseries is Krishna. Srila Prabhupada says that with our tiny brains we will never understand Krishna. When a devotee asked then why he had written so many books if we cannot understand Krishna, Srila Prabhupada says that he had wrote so many books to tell that we will never understand Krishna.

Lord Brahma in the 14th chapter of 10th canto says that we have to keep aside all the knowledge and analyze and have to just love Krishna. He also says that when one throws away all the speculation and absorbs in Krishna katha, the unconquerable lord Krishna will be conquered by his love. Srila Prabhupada says that one cannot understand Krishna without being the lover of Krishna. Initially we read the scriptures to figure out the solutions for our problems. Now, we have to take our Bhakti to next level by reading the scriptures to receive the grace of Krishna.

This is very beautifully explained in this Audio to a great length, please download and listen to it.


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